Confederate statue vandalized at Duke University

Confederate statue vandalized at Duke University
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A statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee was vandalized at Duke University in Durham, N.C., on Thursday, Duke Today reported. 

University officials discovered damage to the face of the statue on Thursday morning. Officials have opened an investigation into the vandalism of the statue, which is located near the school's chapel, and increased security in the area. 

"Duke Chapel is a place of sanctuary and refuge that belongs to every member of the Duke Community," said university President Vincent E. Price in a statement. "Each of us deserves a voice in determining how to address the questions raised by the statues of Robert E. Lee and others, and confront the darker moments in our nation's history." 

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Protesters tore down another Confederate statue in Durham on Monday that bore the inscription "The Confederate States of America." Other Confederate statues have been targeted in cities across the country in reaction to the violence over the weekend at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va.

President Trump tweeted Thursday in defense of the Confederate statues, saying it is "sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments."  

The vandals at Duke appear to have hammered at the statue's face, putting holes in Lee's nose, forehead, right cheekbone and right eyebrow. 

“For an individual or group of individuals to take matters into their own hands and vandalize a house of worship undermines the right, protected in our Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion, of every Duke student and employee to participate fully in university life," Price said. 

Price said that he has consulted with students and faculty on "the ways in which we can use this issue to teach, learn, and heal."