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World News

'An undeniable worldwide icon': Billy Graham statue to replace white supremacist at US Capitol

by Premier Journalist

A statue of the late evangelist Billy Graham is set to replace that of a white supremacist in the US Capitol's Statuary Hall.

Last week, a North Carolina state legislative committee approved a model statue of the preacher, with the life-sized version requiring approval by a congressional committee. 

The statue that Graham will replace to represent his home state is of former governor and segregationalist, Charles Aycock, who led a number of white supremacist campaigns at the start of the 20th century. Both the North Carolina state government and the US House of Representatives have moved to have his statue taken down. 

For many, as he was a famous North Carolina native, Graham is an obvious choice to replace him. 

"From a Christian religious point of view, Billy Graham is an undeniable worldwide icon,” said former North Carolina State Sen. Dan Soucek, who has been advocating for a statue of Graham since 2015. 

Lauded as a humble man who often shunned the celebrity status that was bestowed upon him, Billy's son Franklin Graham says his father probably wouldn't be enamoured by the idea of being immortalised in statue form.

"He would want people to give God the glory and not himself," he said, noting that his father would still "be very pleased that people thought of him in this way". 

Last month, the Democrat-led House Appropriations Committee announced a bill seeking to remove all Confederate statues of “individuals with unambiguous records of racial intolerance”.

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