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Cornell University library removes Abraham Lincoln bust, Gettysburg address

The display had been prominently featured in the Koch Library since 2013.

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Katie Daviscourt Seattle WA
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The Cornell University Library has removed a sculpture of President Abraham Lincoln and a plaque of the Gettysburg address after an alleged complaint was filed, according to Fox News.

Cornell biology professor Randy Wayne was shocked to find that the Abraham Lincoln display, which featured a bust of the President and a bronzed plaque of the Gettysburg Address, had been removed from the Kock Library.

"Someone complained, and it was gone," Wayne told College Fix.

The display had been prominently featured in the Koch Library since 2013, Wayne said.

According to College Fix, Wayne first noticed that the display was missing a few weeks ago. When he asked librarians what happened, they told him the display was removed after receiving a complaint.

However, Cornell University has not yet confirmed those allegations and told Fox News that the display was removed because it was meant to be "temporary."

"President Lincoln's bust was part of a temporary exhibit on the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address. The bust was on display in the Rare and Manuscript Collections from 2013 to 2021," Rebecca Valli, director of media relations at Cornell University, told Fox News on Tuesday.

"Cornell proudly possesses one of five known copies of the Gettysburg Address in Lincoln’s hand. The original is safely sequestered, with a digital facsimile on permanent display. Additionally, five electronic Lincoln exhibitions are available for 24/7 viewing online," Valli added.

After learning of the display's removal, professor Randy Wayne emailed the university's president requesting reason for why the display was removed, and was told decisions are made by library staff.

"President Pollack isn't typically made aware of changes with exhibitions in the library, which I believe are decided upon by library staff," a staffer for president Martha E. Pollack told Wayne.

Wayne detailed his frustrations to Fox News and said that he takes his students to the RMC to have them read the Gettysburg Address, which moves him to tears.

"When I take my students to RMC each semester, I have one of them read the original in Lincoln's hand. I am in tears each time I hear a student read those words," Wayne told Fox News.

"The Gettysburg Address is an incredible speech," he added in comment to the College Fix. "We have a handwritten copy in Lincoln's hand. It is known as the Bancroft Copy. It comes with an envelope signed by Lincoln (using his franking privilege), and a letter to Bancroft, thanking him for requesting a copy of the address to put in a book to be sold for charity."

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