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Damage to Harvard books on gay issues an accident

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December 14, 2010 07:01 AM EST | AP


CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — A Harvard University dean says damage to three dozen books on gay and lesbian issues that appeared to have been doused in urine in a campus library was simply an accident.

Campus police were investigating the incident that occurred Nov. 24 and reported Friday as a hate crime.

Dean Evelynn Hammonds told The Crimson student newspaper Monday that an investigation determined that a library worker found a bottle of what appeared to be urine on a shelf in the Lamont Library and accidentally spilled it.

It remains unclear what a bottle of urine was doing in a library.

The 36 books worth several thousand dollars will be replaced.

Harvard College Queer Students and Allies co-chairman Marco Chan expressed relief that the damage was not an act of homophobia.