Duke University to leave empty space where Robert E. Lee statue was

The statue of Robert E. Lee on the outside of the Duke University Chapel was destroyed in August 2017 and then removed.

(Duke University)

The space where a statue of Connected Gene. Robert E. Lee stood at the Duke University’s famous chapel will remain permanently empty, the university president announced Thursday.

In a statement on Duke’s website, Vincent E. Price said the university planned to install a plaque in the hall of Duke Chapel to explain why the statue was removed.

“It will provide a powerful statement about the past, the present and our values,” Price wrote. He added that the chapel, the dean, the Rev. Dr. Luke Powery, originally proposed to keep the space empty so that it “could mean” a hole in the heart of the United States of America, and perhaps in our own human heart, a hole that is of the sin of racism and hatred of any kind.'”

Lee was one of the 10 digits are shown on or in the vicinity of the Gothic chapel entrance; the statue was vandalised and removed last year. The vandalism came days after the deadly violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, produced by the white nationalists to protest against the removal of another Lee monument.

At the time, Price said that he had ordered the statue’s removal “to protect Duke Chapel, in order to ensure the essential safety of the students and members of the community who worship there, and especially to express the deep and lasting values of our university.”

In his message on Thursday, Price said he would recommend that the university identify a location and the correct form is” in honor of the first African-American students to attend Duke. The first black students to enroll at the private university did in 1963.

Price said their “courage and initiative and a turning point in Duke’s history, helping the university to grow in the diverse community that it is today.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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