Worcester's Columbus Statue Splashed With Red Paint Again

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — A statue of Christopher Columbus in the second largest city in Massachusetts was splashed with red paint overnight, the second time it has been vandalized in 16 months.

A public works crew was on the scene Wednesday cleaning the paint off the 8-foot (2.4 meters) statue, The Telegram & Gazette reported.

The statue was doused with red paint and defaced with the word “genocide” in June 2020.

There was no word on arrests.

Statues of the Italian explorer across the nation were vandalized last year amid nationwide racial injustice protests. Columbus was the first of a wave of European explorers who decimated Native populations in the Americas in quests for gold and other wealth when he arrived in what is now the Bahamas on Oct. 12, 1492.

Boston’s Columbus statue was decapitated and a Columbus statue in Richmond, Virginia, was toppled and thrown into a lake.

Worcester's statue was a gift to the city in 1978 by local attorney Nunziato Fusaro in memory of his wife, Esther. The city council considered removing the statue after last year's vandalism, but it stayed put.

Monday was the Columbus Day federal holiday, although this year President Joe Biden issued the first presidential proclamation of Indigenous Peoples Day, which some states and cities also marked.