UGA group removes portrait of Robert E. Lee

A University of Georgia student group voted late Thursday to remove a portrait of Robert E. Lee from its hall.

The Demosthenian Literary Society voted 27-0 with one abstention to take down the portrait of Lee, who served as a general in the Confederate Army during the Civil War, said Alanna Pierce, a first-year UGA law student who is the society’s president.

Pierce said the 40-member society, an oratory group created in 1803, decided to remove the portrait after the recent racially-charged violence in Charlottesville, Va. that has renewed a national debate over monuments to Confederate leaders.

“I am happy,” Pierce said after the vote. “It made us think...It was time for Robert E. Lee to come down. It’s time for our society to move forward.”

Pierce said the portrait may be moved to the university’s Special Collections Libraries.