Confederate Group Nabs Statue Toppled at UNC

University will create $2.5M trust for preservation of Silent Sam
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 28, 2019 9:50 AM CST
Confederate Group Nabs Statue Toppled at UNC
Members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans prepare to unveil a Confederate monument in Brantley, Ala., on Aug. 27, 2017.   (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Descendants of Confederate soldiers will soon get their hands on a statue of one such soldier, torn from the grounds of the University of North Carolina last year. Protesters at the Chapel Hill campus toppled Silent Sam, erected in 1913 and dedicated to "the sons of the university who entered the war of 1861-65 in answer to the call of their country," a year after the Unite the Right Rally in Charlottesville, Va., which prompted the renaming or removal of some 75 Confederate memorials across the country, reports USA Today. Then-Chancellor Carol Folt went on to suggest a more secure location for the bronze statue of an anonymous Confederate soldier before students rejected an offer to use state funds to build a new $5.3 million center.

On Wednesday, the school said Silent Sam would be given to the Sons of Confederate Veterans, which had sued over its removal, in a settlement approved by a judge. The settlement—in which the university agreed to create a $2.5 million trust for care and preservation, without touching state funds—addresses the "safety and security concerns expressed by students, faculty and staff" while complying with a 2015 state law that restricts the removal of Confederate monuments, UNC Board of Governors member Jim Holmes says, per USA Today. One condition is that the statue must be kept outside of the 14 counties that have university system campuses. A rep for Sons of Confederate Veterans tells the AP it is happy with the decision. (More Confederate statues stories.)

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