Local News

Heart sculpture installed on Durham pedestal where Confederate statue stood

Posted August 24

— Someone erected a giant metal heart on the pedestal where a Confederate statue once stood outside the Durham County courthouse.

Photos taken on Thursday morning showed the new sculpture, which appeared to be made of metal, though it’s unclear when the sculpture was put up.

The sculpture was taken down on Thursday, though it's unclear who did so.

Durham officials had not made a public statement about the unexpected replacement, and there is no word on what is planned for the monument.


A group of protesters in Durham toppled the original statue on Aug. 14., which had been sprayed with cooking spray by authorities to make it more difficult to climb.

Organizers of Monday's protest said they are anti-racist and anti-fascist, and the event was a response to Saturday's demonstrations in Charlottesville, Virginia, where one protester was killed.


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  • Linda Tally Aug 26, 9:23 a.m.
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    The heart was a bit sentimental, but an improvement over what had been there before. The snowflake and teardrop idea has possibilities... can we spray paint them so they glitter and use them at Christmas?

  • Tal Lugen Aug 25, 11:00 a.m.
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    You're still making points for a different argument. You seem to be confusing my original point that decisions like this shouldn't be made arbitrarily with the idea that I'm somehow defending slavery. You've let your emotions outweigh your ability to think rationally.

    I'll attempt to clarify. First, I don't care if the monuments come down or stay up. I don't have any ancestors that fought on either side, nor do I have any economic interest in slavery. Second, the arguments you posted were easily refutable. For example;

    "why would you erect these huge monuments to the losing side?" Americans invaded Vietnam, killed thousands of civilians, and ultimately lost the war. Why would we have monuments erected for that?

    Finally, your opinions are not universal. I understand you believe the statue represents slavery and that slavery is evil. I don't believe it does. Who decides what is evil and what needs to be torn down? My original point stands; decisions should not be made arbitrarily.

  • John Archer Aug 25, 8:50 a.m.
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    I am judging the association of the statues to slavery on several facts that I have already stated. 1. The Confederacy lost the war, why would you erect these huge monuments to the losing side?, 2. the era these statues were erected in was when the Jim Crowe laws were in force to keep blacks as 2nd class citizens, and 3, many of the speeches given in dedication of these statues were in fact referencing racism. What heritage are people trying to protect?

  • John Archer Aug 25, 8:43 a.m.
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    They have everything to do with slavery. Why was the war fought? Who lost? When were the statues erected? Are there statues of Sherman in Atlanta? Is there a statue of Grant anywhere in the south? Answer these questions, then ask yourself why the south has held on to a losing campaign so tightly for 150 years. Is it just sore losers, because that's kind of pathetic. Keeping your history is one thing, but erecting statues to commemorate failure is another thing entirely. Unless it's for a different reason, and that reason is to remind black folks that they were once slaves and these are the men who fought and died to keep them there. Because that's exactly what they see when they look at these statues. Put yourself in their shoes for a minute and see how you'd feel.

  • Tal Lugen Aug 25, 8:32 a.m.
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    "I just don't get why you think that these facts are actually opinions."

    I'm not debating the facts because you're not providing any. Calling something "bad" is not a fact, that's an opinion. Assuming the motive of every person involved in the statues erection to be "evil" is not a fact, that's an opinion. Assigning your own value to the statue now as "glorifying slavery" is not a fact, that's an opinion. You're judging every aspect of this situation through your own moral compass.

    Others have different opinions. Others may believe the monument isn't racist. Others may believe the meaning of the statue has changed over the year. You can't discount the opinion of others just because you think you're morally superior. It's a very egocentric trait.

  • Robert Swiger Sr. Aug 24, 10:39 p.m.
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    will you explain to me how a statue glorifies slavery. I agreee slavery was evil but the statues has nothing to do with it whatsoever.

  • John Archer Aug 24, 9:58 p.m.
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    Try to understand what I'm saying. The statues glorify slavery. Slavery is bad. Therefore the statues are bad. People make the argument these statues are about bravery and heroes, but those men would never even be heard of without their stance as pro-slavery. They were defending an evil practice, and therefore any honor they are afforded should be privately by their family and friends, not glorified by statues in the public square. in the two decades after the war ended, almost all monuments were small and installed in graveyards where soldiers were buried. It was only during the 10s and 20s that ushered in the Jim Crowe era that these larger statues began being built in public spaces. The speeches that accompanied their dedications were always directed at honoring the men who sacrificed to keep the southern way of life, meaning slavery. I just don't get why you think that these facts are actually opinions.

  • Tal Lugen Aug 24, 9:12 p.m.
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    I don't think you know what you're arguing. It seems that you're saying slavery is bad, and that anybody who supports leaving the statue supports slavery? Fallacies abound.

    "I don't actually care if other people's "opinions" differ from that. They would also be wrong."

    Let's me apply your logic to the statue. It should stay up because it's the right thing to do, and if you disagree I can't help you. You're wrong. I'm not going to offer any support for this claim because it apparently doesn't matter to you. Instead, I'm going to arbitrarily decide that you're wrong and lump you in with other groups that are wrong like the KKK. You and your hate groups should really take a long look in the mirror and think about how you're affecting the rest of us.

    We can all just believe our opinion is the right one and the only one that matters, right? You're still missing the point of the original argument. Decisions can't be made arbitrarily.

  • John Archer Aug 24, 7:55 p.m.
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    I never said all southerners owned slaves. Plenty of northerners also owned slaves. That does not justify slavery at all. It is still evil. And the Civil War was about retaining slavery as a legal institution. Of course the south was angered over the aggression by the north. Of course! But they had plenty of time to decide before the first shot was fired about which side they wanted to be on and they chose the side of slavery. And they lost. I am not choosing what is right or wrong here. I am outright saying that slavery is wrong, and if you would argue that it is not wrong, I can't help you much. Ripping thousands of people from their homes, transporting them to a foreign land and selling them will always be wrong, and evil. I don't actually care if other people's "opinions" differ from that. They would also be wrong. And do not put heroic statues about it on public property.

  • Robert Swiger Sr. Aug 24, 7:20 p.m.
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    Put the statute back up