Left-wing vandals desecrated a massive Christopher Columbus statue in New York City’s famed Central Park late Monday night, splashing “blood red” paint over the explorer’s hands and writing “Hate Will Not Be Tolerated” at the base of the memorial.
According to the New York Post, a city employee noticed the defaced statue early Tuesday morning and notified the NYPD and Parks Department. Local law enforcement fear future attacks against city memorials will continue in the coming weeks, noting the vandals left behind a spray-painted threat at the foot of the statue.
“#Somethingscoming” was scrawled at the base of the memorial, along with a hand-written note.
“It reflects a lot of what’s going on in the world right now and this country…it’s about unrest the unrest in the world,” said one passerby, adding, “It bothers me to see [the graffiti]. It’s not positive, it’s destructive.”
“That’s the first thing I’ve seen in New York that makes me feel saddened and angry,” said a tourist from Tennessee. “We have legal ways of protesting.”
The debate over the nation’s historic symbols and monuments re-ignited earlier this year after Confederate memorials were used as a rallying cry for white supremacist organizations in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The ensuing chaos led many to call for the removal of Civil War memorials throughout the south, but left many worried the move would spill over to other historical figures, such as Christopher Columbus and Thomas Jefferson.