A statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis was removed from campus grounds at the University of Texas on Aug. 30 despite outside groups suing to stop the university's removal of it.
The statue of Davis, who led the Confederacy of southern states during the Civil War from 1861 to 1865, was taken down from its historical perch near the university’s clock tower, the Associated Press reported. The statue will now be located in the Briscoe Center, a history museum on campus that university officials and student government believed was a better place for it.
Since the shootings of seven members of a black church in South Carolina earlier this summer, symbols associated with the Confederacy have reportedly been vandalized by locals or removed altogether by state and local governments. The Davis statue had been vandalized several times and was criticized as a symbol of racism and discrimination due to its connections with a pro-slavery era in the South.
One recent incident of vandalism occurred when someone spray-painted "Black Lives Matter" on the base of the statue.
“This is an iconic moment,” Gregory Vincent, the university’s vice president for diversity and community engagement, said to the Austin American-Statesman. “It really shows the power of student leadership.”
It was the university’s student government who originally voted to remove the statue. That vote was temporarily halted by the Sons of Confederate Veterans who asked a judge to hear their request to leave the statue as is on the campus grounds.
“These statues have stood in place for 82 years, and we are a little concerned about the speed that the university has decided to relocate them,” Marshall Davis, a spokesman for the group, told the Los Angeles Times. “The Briscoe Center won’t be ready to receive the statue for 18 months, so what’s the hurry?”
Last week, a judge ruled against the group and said that Texas authorities have the right to decide where the statue should stand.
In addition to the relocation of the Davis statue, a statue of former President Woodrow Wilson will also be moved to a new location on campus, NPR reported.
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