SAN FRANCISCO—A statue of Christopher Columbus at Coit Tower in San Francisco was defaced on Friday, June 12. The statue’s hands and face were painted red to resemble blood. Various statues across the United States and the world have been targeted recently.
Christopher Columbus was an Italian navigator who sailed across the Atlantic Ocean for the Spanish crown in 1492. He was determined to find a direct route from Europe to Asia, but is famed for ending up in America instead, which kicked off the “Age of Exploration.” He remains a controversial figure in history because of his use of violence, exploitation and enslavement of Native populations as he conquered the West Indies.
Some cities and states have started to recognize what is now called “Indigenous People’s Day” in place of Columbus Day.
The statue at Coit Tower represents the latest incident of a statue being vandalized. There have been three other reports of Columbus statues being vandalized- one was torn down in Minneapolis, one was thrown into a lake in Richmond, Virginia, and one was beheaded in Boston.
It is still unknown whether the Columbus statue in Coit Tower will be repaired, or taken down for storage in the meantime.