Duke removes Confederate statue from campus chapel

Duke removes Confederate statue from campus chapel

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) - Two days after the defacing of a Confederate General Robert E. Lee statue, Duke University has removed the monument for the chapel hall.

Thursday, university officials reported that the vandalism took place overnight, as the local and national debate sparks over whether these monuments should stand.

In a statement, Duke's new president, Vincent Price, said "I took this course of action to protect Duke Chapel, to ensure the vital safety of students and community members who worship there, and above all to express the deep and abiding values of our university. The removal also presents an opportunity for us to learn and heal. The statue will be preserved so that students can study Duke's complex past and take part in a more inclusive future."

This decision follows several days of protests in Durham, where the university is located. Friday, demonstrators took to the downtown streets after rumors circulated that KKK was headed into town to hold a rally.

Price invited the Duke community and larger Durham community to work together; he's also created a commission to advise the university on the next steps it should take.