UT removes Jefferson Davis statue

31 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Austin to Remove Confederate Statue Sunday.

After a months-long battle, the University of Texas at Austin removed a statue of Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederate during the Civil War, early Sunday morning.Gregory Vincent, vice president of diversity and community engagement and chair of a task force that made recommendations to Fenves regarding the statue, said the University would start working on removing the statues within the next couple of days.Patrick Sheehy, co-founder of Vault Fine Arts, said the statue removal “should be relatively quick and low-priced”, which means approximately two hours’ time and a cost of $19,000.

It took about two and a half hours to remove the statue from the campus main mall, as about 100 students gathered to watch and cheer, according to the Dallas Morning News. The Davis statue, as well as one of Woodrow Wilson, the nation’s 28th president, that is scheduled to be lifted later in the morning, are to be refurbished before they are placed in new settings. The statue was sprayed with graffiti several times. “As a public university, it is vital that we preserve and understand our history and help our students and the public learn from it in meaningful ways,” Fenves said in a statement. “Jefferson Davis had few ties to Texas but played a unique role in the history of the American South that is best explained and understood through an educational exhibit. In August, after reading the task force’s recommendations, Fenves decided to move the Jefferson Davis statue to the Briscoe Center for American History. The statues, like many memorials to Confederates, date from what is called the “Lost Cause” era of the early Twentieth Century, well after the scars of war had healed and Southern veterans began popularizing a view of the antebellum South which downplayed slavery and focused on he supposed bravery and honor of the Southern people.

UT announced that it would remove the statues from their limestone pedestals on the Main, or South, Mall after the Texas Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans apparently failed to get traction Friday evening at the state Supreme Court with a last-ditch effort to block the plan. But state District Judge Karin Crump of Travis County ruled at the conclusion of a hearing Thursday that the plaintiffs were not entitled to an injunction that would have barred the university from carrying out the plan.

University spokeswoman Rhonda Wheldon said a new location for the Woodrow Wilson statue has not yet been determined. “Greg Fenves will rue the day”. Kirk Lyons, a lawyer for the group, told the American-Statesman that the court’s electronic filing system did not accept his motion that had to be paired with the injunction paperwork.

Because of the Confederacy’s effort to preserve slavery, it had been vandalized numerous times over the years, most recently with paint sprayed to read “black lives matter.” Fenves said the Wilson statue would be removed to maintain symmetry because the statues stood opposite each other.

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