UT removes Confederate statues from campus overnight

AUSTIN - When students begin classes at the University of Texas Aug. 30, they won't see statues honoring the Confederacy on campus at the South Mall.

Following violent incidents in Charlottesville and at the University of Virginia, UT President Greg Fenves said in a statement it's become clear now more than ever "that Confederate monuments have become symbols of modern white supremacy and neo-Nazism."

Fenves said he spoke with current students, alumni, and reviewed a 2015 task force report before coming to the conclusion that the statues of Robert E. Lee, Albert Sidney Johnston, John Reagan and James Stephen Hogg should be removed from the Main Mall of Campus.

Fenves said Lee and Reagan's statues would be added to the collection of the Briscoe Center for American History for "scholarly study", while former Texas Gov. James Hogg will be reconsidered for another location on campus.

In the statement, Fenves concluded:

The University of Texas at Austin has a duty to preserve and study history. But our duty also compels us to acknowledge that those parts of our history that run counter to the university’s core values, the values of our state and the enduring values of our nation do not belong on pedestals in the heart of the Forty Acres.

This isn't the first time the University has removed a Confederate statue from campus. In 2015, following the deadly shooting of nine people at a church in Charleston, the Jefferson Davis statue was moved from the main mall and placed in the Briscoe Center.

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