What will happen to UT Confederate statues?

Late at night Sunday, four Confederate statues were removed from campus at University of Texas.

AUSTIN - Three of the four Confederate statues that were removed from the South Mall of the University of Texas campus won't be on public display anytime soon.

UT President Gregory Fenves ordered the removal of the 1200 pound, mostly bronze statues of Robert E. Lee, General, Albert Sidney Johnston, Postmaster General, John Reagan, and former Texas governor, James Hogg Sunday night from the South Mall, citing safety concerns.

He explained his decision in an email to students.

Fenves said, "the horrific displays of hatred at the University of Virginia and in Charlottesville shocked and saddened the nation. These events make it clear, now more than ever, that Confederate monuments have become symbols of modern white supremacy and neo-Nazism." 

Hogg's figure is expected to go back on display elsewhere on campus. The other three will eventually end up at the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, also on campus.

According to Executive Director Don Carleton, they likely will not be on public display for several years, if ever, because of logistics. Carleton said they are too big and the Briscoe Center is too small. Also, an exhibition is usually built around a display, which is time-consuming.  

"At the very least, we will reach a point where we will have arrangements put together to allow scholars and researchers to come and look at them and study them. They're not being buried, they're not being melted down," said Carleton.

Carleton said one of the missions of the Briscoe Center is to preserve the history of the University. 

"At the very least, we will reach a point where we will have arrangements put together to allow scholars and researchers to come and look at them and study them. They're not being buried, they're not being melted down," said Carleton.

But he urges people to think about public statues and how they must represent the institution they are on.

"It's clear that they represent a treasonous movement against the United States to preserve slavery and that the movement to preserve slavery wound up with the deaths of 700,000 Americans. As a historian, I personally believe that's not anything to celebrate," said Carleton.

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