Christopher Columbus statue defaced with red paint in London square

Statue of Christopher Columbus is defaced with red paint in London’s Belgrave Square – on anniversary of the day he arrived in America

  • Christopher Columbus statue was found covered in red paint on Tuesday in London’s Belgrave Square
  • Monument also had cross daubed on its inscription by vandals 
  • Comes as other commemorations of the explorer have been defaced around the world on 11 October- Columbus Day, including one in Baltimore, USA
  • Other statues across UK have been pulled down and defaced because of links to racism and colonialism

A statue of Christopher Columbus was found covered in red paint on Tuesday- on the anniversary of the day he arrived in America. 

It was also marked with a red cross over the inscription which commemorates the life of the explorer.  

The monument is in London’s Belgrave Square and has stood there since 1992. 

Sculptor Tomas Banuelos designed the statue to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Columbus’s expedition to the New World and it is a gift from Spain’s people. 

Christopher Columbus’s statue (pictured) was found covered in red paint on Tuesday, on the anniversary of his arrival to the Americas

It was also marked with a red cross (pictured) over the inscription which commemorates the life of the explorer

What is Columbus Day? 

Columbus Day, the anniversary of the explorer’s arrival in America, is on 11 October. 

President Franklin D Roosevelt first declared a Columbus Day in 1934 

It was recognised in America and other countries including Italy and Spain for some years.

But many states and local governments have distanced themselves from celebrating the holiday and now choose to mark Indigenous Peoples’ Day instead.

The holiday remembers the history and culture of Native American people.   

Columbus Day courts controversy as the explorer used violence and slavery against indigenous people on his travels.

Now, many people have asked for statues of Columbus to be removed, defaced them or pulled them down across the world.

Most recently, a monument of Columbus was pulled down in the Little Italy neighbourhood of Baltimore. 

 Source: Wikipedia

The statue has stood in London’s Belgrave Gardens since 1992

The monument is in London’s Belgrave Square (pictured) and has stood there since 1992. Sculptor Tomas Banuelos designed the statue to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Columbus’s expedition to the New World and it is a gift from Spain’s people

Damage to the statue comes after other monuments were pulled down and defaced over the last few years. 

Many people have called for statues in Britain to be removed as they have linked them to racism and colonialism. 

The monument of Edward Colson, a slave trader, was toppled in Bristol last year by Black Lives Matter protesters.

The monument of Edward Colson, a slave trader, was toppled in Bristol last year by Black Lives Matter protesters and rolled along the streets to the harbour

Protesters used ropes to heave down the monument of Edward Colson before they dumped it in Bristol Harbour and it was taken out of the water by the council (pictured)

Protests began across the UK after the killing of George Floyd in America. 

Colson’s monument was a subject of controversy in Bristol and many signed a petition against it remaining in its place. 

Protesters used ropes to heave down the monument before they dumped it in Bristol Harbour.   

As many as 10,000 activists gathered in the city and were condemned for their actions by Priti Patel and Sajid Javid at the time.

Ms Patel branded the act ‘utterly disgraceful’ and Mr Javid said ‘this is not ok.’ 

 Bristol museum will display the monument of Edward Colson. 

Winston Churchill’s statue was also defaced with graffiti during a Black Lives Matter protest with the words ‘Churchill was a racist’ daubed on it in June 2020.

Activists also pinned a poster saying ‘Black Lives Matter’ to the coat of the statue, prompting the police to cover it to prevent it being further vandalized.

Activists also pinned a poster saying ‘Black Lives Matter’ to the coat of Winston Churchill’s statue (pictured), prompting the police to cover it to prevent it being further vandalized

In Oxford, Oriel College said last June that they would take down their monument of Cecil Rhodes, a controversial imperialist.

It came after thousands of protesters gathered outside the college to demand the statue be taken down. 

Oriel College launched an independent inquiry into issues surrounding the monument. 

In Oxford, Oriel College said last June that they would take down their monument of Cecil Rhodes (pictured)- a controversial imperialist

Protesters (pictured) gathered outside the college to demand the statue of Cecil Rhodes be taken down

Deptford Town Hall currently has monuments (pictured) of Sir Francis Drake and Cromwellian admiral Robert Blake which were splattered with paint in 2020

 And Deptford Town Hall’s statues may be torn down because of their links to slavery.

Goldsmiths University owns the building and launched a public consultation in September into the future of the statues.

The building currently has monuments of Sir Francis Drake, Cromwellian admiral Robert Blake, Lord Horatio Nelson, and an anonymous representative naval figure. 

Consultation will run until October 17 to decide whether the statues will be removed or not. 

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