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Rhode Island Columbus statue vandalized

Westerly Police said that two teenagers pelted the statue with eggs and defaced it with blue paint

In this Oct. 14, 2019, file photo, a sign reading "stop celebrating genocide" sits at the base of a statue of Christopher Columbus in Providence, R.I., after it was vandalized with red paint. Mayor Jorge Elorza said Thursday, June 25, 2020, the statue will be taken down and placed in storage while its future is discussed by a city panel.Michelle R. Smith/Associated Press

WESTERLY, R.I. — Two teenagers are being charged with vandalism and malicious damage to property after they allegedly vandalized a Christopher Columbus statue in Rhode Island.

This is one of many recent incidents regarding the vandalism of historical figures statues across the U.S., including a statue of Columbus in Boston that was beheaded and another Columbus statue in Richmond that was thrown into a lake last year. A Columbus statue in Providence was defaced with red paint in 2019, and later placed in storage to avoid additional vandalism.

Westerly Police said that the teens pelted the statue with eggs and defaced it with blue paint. There could be more charges filed on the teens depending on the final evaluation of the damage of the statue and how much it'll cost to fix it, The Westerly Sun reported.


Westerly Police Chief Shawn Lacey said officers saw a group of teens on June 27 walking with a carton of eggs. The next day the station received a call from a park employee who reported the statue had been defaced. There were security cameras in the park but they were unable to capture the incident, the newspaper said.

When the teens were arrested, they told police they were motivated by their concerns about racism in the U.S.

A fence is to be erected surrounding the statue in the upcoming weeks. City officials have moved to install more security measures after an attempt to vandalize the Columbus statue in 2020, the newspaper said.