Vandals on Tuesday defaced a statue of Italian explorer Christopher Columbus in New York City’s famed Central Park.
On the statue’s pedestal, the vandals spray painted the phrases “Hate will not be tolerated” and “Something’s coming.” The statue’s hands were also splashed with red paint, New York’s CBS affiliate reported:
Iconic sculpture of Christopher Columbus that has stood in Central Park for more than a century has been vandalized https://t.co/t7x3615VDy
— NBC New York (@NBCNewYork) September 12, 2017
— stretch25 (@stretch1) September 12, 2017
The vandalism of the famed explorer’s statue comes weeks after New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the formation of a commission set to root out and topple statues and memorials representing “symbols of hate” in the Big Apple.
At the time, the mayor refused to delineate which statues he intended to target, but the Christopher Columbus statue was in the news during his announcement.
“I’m not going to get into the name game here,” the mayor said on August 23. “We have to look at everything here.”
A week after his initial announcement, though, de Blasio seemed to backtrack on removing the Columbus statue, saying only that they will consider all options.
Not everyone in the Big Apple was on board for removing statues. Even the New York Times warned against a national trend of tearing down historic statues, stating that such campaigns will alienate moderates and mobilize the right to resist liberal policies.
No person or group has claimed responsibility for vandalizing the statue in Central Park, and police have no suspects.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.