Austin to take down 4 statues of leaders of the Confederacy

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President Greg Fenves announced the statues' fate Sunday night, and the removals should be complete by mid-morning Monday. Hogg, served as governor of Texas from 1891 to 1895, and was the son of a Confederate general.

A spokesman told the outlet that the university opted for a midnight removal "for public safety and to minimize disruption to the community". It was "also to minimize the disruption to campus".

"These events make it clear, now more than ever, that Confederate monuments have become symbols of modern white supremacy and neo-Nazism", Fenves said in a statement.

The university formed a task force of faculty, students, alumni and university leaders in 2015 ― after an avowed white supremacist killed nine members of a black church in Charleston, South Carolina ― to evaluate statues on campus of Confederate military and political leaders. Following those conversations and a review of the 2015 task force report, he chose to relocate the remaining four statues. But he said the "historical and cultural significance of the Confederate statues on our campus - and the connections that individuals have with them - are severely compromised by what they symbolize".

Fenves noted that that the statues originated during a period of segregation in the United States. That remains true today for white supremacists who use them to symbolise hatred and bigotry. The Davis statue is on display at UT's Dolph Briscoe Center for American History.

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Recent removals of Confederate statues has sparked backlash among an outspoken group of Americans who view the statues as symbols of United States history and southern culture. It will be considered for re-installation at another university site, Fenves said.

Following the statues' removal, Austin Mayor Steve Adler released a statement saying, "Putting these statues in a history museum appropriately puts this past where it belongs".

In 2015, the university removed from its territory a statue of former Confederate President Jefferson Davis.

In the wake of the violence, several towns and institutions accelerated plans to remove Confederate monuments, with four statues of Confederate figures removed in Baltimore Tuesday.

"The University of Texas at Austin has a duty to preserve and study history", Mr Fenves continued.

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