Chapel Hill officials ask UNC to relocate ‘Silent Sam’ statue away from town

Orange County News

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) — Roughly a year and a half since the ‘Silent Sam’ monument was toppled, the University of North Carolina system must still decide where to relocate the Confederate statue.

Last week, a judge in Orange County tossed out the $2.5 million deal between UNC and the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

On Monday, the UNC System submitted a letter to the courts giving the Sons of Confederate Veterans 45 days to give the statue back.               

However, the letter does not include details about what will happen to the statue once it’s returned to the UNC system.

Under the monument protection law, it is possible that the statue will have to go back on campus, but there are exceptions if it poses a safety risk to the community.

Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger and members of the town council sent a letter to UNC which said the statue could pose a safety risk if it were to come back on campus.

“We just don’t see a place for it here in our community,” Hemminger said. “It has brought groups to town that are protesting both sides.”

Hemminger also said the town does not stand for what the statue, which honors UNC students who fought in the Civil War, represents.

“You see the white supremacy, you see the events of the war being portrayed in a monument,” Hemminger said.

However, Frank Powell, a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans disagrees with the Town of Chapel Hill on the matter.

Powell told CBS 17 over the phone that the Sons of Confederate Veterans would like UNC to put the statue back where it was on campus.

“It was put up there as a memorial for the UNC students who answered the call of their state and marched off to war and died, nothing more nothing less,” Powell said.

CBS 17 reached out to the UNC system for an on-camera interview to find out what they plan to do with the statue once, but we have not yet heard back.

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