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Portaits Of Black Harvard Law Professors Defaced

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By Sky News US Team

Portraits of several black professors have been vandalised at Harvard Law School a day after a rally on the campus for black students.

Strips of black electrical tape were placed diagonally over faces in at least five portraits, officials said.

Students and professors noticed the tape at Wasserstein Hall, which has two hallways lined with framed portraits of more than 180 professors.

Harvard officials have said they do not know who was responsible, or why some of the professors were singled out.

Martha Minow, dean of the law school, said in a statement: "Expressions of hatred are abhorrent, whether they be directed at race, sex, sexual preference, gender identity, religion or any other targets of bigotry."

She added that the vandalism was being treated as a hate crime.

Harvard police are investigating the vandalism, but declined to comment.

On Wednesday, students staged a rally in support of black students across the US.

Protests at the University of Missouri last month have sparked a wave of demonstrations about race at many other campuses.

Harvard students have called on the law school to open a diversity office. Some have pressed for it to change its official seal, which is borrowed from the family crest of an 18th century slaveholder whose estate helped found the school.

Leland Shelton, a third-year law student who is president of the Harvard Black Law Students' Association, said: "This kind of proves that were not just making this stuff up."

Rena Karefa-Johnson, a third-year law student and lead of activist group Students for Inclusion, added: "I know what it looks like when you're being told to get back into your place, and I think that is very much what this looks like."

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