Former UNC Chancellor James Moeser said Silent Sam should be housed at an on-campus civil rights museum to provide context to the monument in an interview with The Daily Tar Heel.
Moeser said he opposes returning the monument to its former location on McCorkle Place and offered an alternative solution that he hopes would provide historical context to the monument.
“First of all, I think the monument cannot go back on the pedestal. That’s just inconceivable to me. But it probably should be preserved in an interior space,” Moeser said. “For me, the ideal solution is the creation of a civil rights museum on campus where we could display that monument.”
Moeser proposed Historic Playmakers Theater as a possible location for the museum. The theater was built in in 1851 and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1974.
“It’s an important architectural landmark. It would be a great place to do a really well-built museum of the University’s history and civil rights history,” Moeser said. “And Silent Sam could be a part of that, because slavery and segregation are part of the story of civil rights.”