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UNC Won't Act On Statue Of Confederate Soldier At Flagship

Matt Couch
File photo of university police standing watch inside a barricade around the Silent Sam Statue at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Protestors for and against the statue’s removal attended rallies near the statue on Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017.";

The University of North Carolina Board of Governors will do nothing, for now, about an embattled Confederate monument on the public university system's flagship campus.The News & Observer reports board chairman Harry Smith said in a Monday statement neither UNC-Chapel Hill nor the UNC system has legal authority to relocate the statue of a Confederate soldier known as "Silent Sam." He cited a 2015 state law that bars moving historical monuments except in a few cases.

Relocation proponents say repeated vandalism is grounds for moving it under the law.

Smith had said Friday he expected to have conversations about the statue following pressure from the university community. But on Monday, his statement said the board will do nothing while it awaits guidance from the North Carolina Historical Commission.

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