Duke University removes damaged Robert E. Lee statue

FILE - In this Aug. 17, 2017 file photo, the defaced Gen. Robert E. Lee statue stands at the Duke Chapel on Thursday, Aug. 17 2017, in Durham, N.C. Duke University removed a statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee early Saturday, Aug. 19, days after it was vandalized amid a national debate about monuments to the Confederacy. The university said it removed the carved limestone likeness early Saturday morning from Duke Chapel where it stood among 10 historical figures depicted in the entryway (Bernard Thomas/The Herald-Sun via AP)

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Duke University removed a statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee early Saturday after it was vandalized amid a national debate about monuments to the Confederacy.

The university said it removed the carved limestone likeness before dawn from the entryway to Duke Chapel, where it stood among 10 historical figures. Officials discovered early Thursday that the statue’s face had been gouged and scarred and that part of the nose is missing.

Another statue of Lee, the top Confederate general during the Civil War, was the focus of the violent protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, that turned deadly a week ago.

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