The battle over the “Silent Sam” statue on the University of North Carolina’s campus rages on.
The statue has been the focal point of dozens of protests over the years. Governor Roy Cooper asked the state historical commission to consider moving three Confederate monuments from the capitol building, but there was no mention of “Silent Sam.”
The historical commission said UNC hasn’t petitioned the commission to consider any action regarding the controversial statue.
UNC, on the other hand, said state law stands between the school and moving the statue. Chancellor Carol Folt’s office said in a statement to CBS 17: “In the interest of public safety, Chancellor Folt has said that she would relocate the Confederate monument, but state law does not give UNC-Chapel Hill the authority to do so.”
Board of governors chairman Harry Smith said in a statement last week:
“The UNC Board of Governors respects each of the varying opinions within the University community concerning this matter. However, after consulting with legal counsel, neither UNC-Chapel Hill nor the UNC System have the legal authority to unilaterally relocate the Silent Sam statue. Thus, the board has no plans to take any action regarding the monument at this time, and we will await any guidance that the North Carolina Historical Commission may offer.”
Smith said Tuesday he believes it is going to take an act of the General Assembly to move “Silent Sam.” Keeping the statue safe is expensive, according to documents obtained by CBS 17. North Carolina taxpayers shill out roughly $400,000 a year for its security.