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Thursday December 2nd

Duke statue of Confederate general vandalized amid growing tensions

<p>A statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee at Duke Chapel was recently removed after being defaced Thursday morning. Courtesy of William Snead/Duke Photography</p>
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A statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee at Duke Chapel was recently removed after being defaced Thursday morning. Courtesy of William Snead/Duke Photography

Duke University officials discovered a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee at Duke Chapel was defaced Thursday morning. 

University officials have not said how the damage was inflicted, but most of the damage was to the statue's face. 

Officials are investigating and increased security around the chapel. 

Thursday's incident is the first known damage targeting the Lee statue. The statue is one of 10 historical figures outside the chapel. The statues are of significant figures of the South and Protestant and Methodist traditions.

Duke President Vincent Price said the entire Duke community deserves to have a voice in the statue's future in a statement Thursday. 

"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 in a press release. 

He said he began consulting with students, faculty and alumni on the issue earlier in the week. 

The Lee statue is on private property, unlike Silent Sam and Durham County's Confederate monument, which was knocked down Monday

Lee's figure has adorned the chapel's entrance since 1932.

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