Central Park Columbus statue vandalized

A statue of Christopher Columbus was vandalized in Central Park in New York. NBC News

A statue of Christopher Columbus was vandalized in Central Park in New York. NBC News

Amid the vandalism of the Columbus statue in Central Park, a more recognizable statue of the Italian explorer in nearby Columbus Circle has been the subject of debate.

Vandals defiled a 125-year-old bronze statue of Christopher Columbus in New York's Central Park overnight, covering its hands in "blood" red paint and scrawling in white paint "Hate will not be tolerated" on its pedestal.

"A paper sign stuck to the statue read "save your soul" and "#somethingscoming".

According to police, a Central Park Conservancy employee discovered the graffiti at 7 a.m. Tuesday.

The Christopher Columbus statue is located near East 66th Street at the southern end of the mall walkway.

Attacks on Columbus statues come amid the ongoing controversy involving efforts to remove Confederate monuments, which began in 2015 and gained traction after the early August violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. "It's not positive, it's destructive", said resident Sheri Berger to the New York Post.

"That's the first thing I've seen in NY that makes me feel saddened and angry", said Lois Hammett, a tourist from Tennessee who termed the defacement "disgraceful".

Despite the message that "something's coming", no one has as yet taken responsibility for the vandalism.

The Lancaster County Chapter of the Autonomous American Indian Movement says Columbus brought mass murder, genocide and slavery to the continent.

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