Houston's Christopher Columbus statue vandalized for 2nd straight night

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Friday, June 12, 2020
Houston's Columbus statue vandalized for 2nd straight night
In the video, see the damage done for a second straight night on the Christopher Columbus statue in a Houston park.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The Christopher Columbus statue at a park near the Museum District has been vandalized for the second night in a row.

Vandals put a noose around the statue and broke off its hand Thursday night.

The night before, vandals tossed what appeared to be red paint on the 7-foot-tall statue, which is located at Houston's Bell Park at 4900 Montrose. The statue also had a cardboard sign left behind with the message, "Rip the head from your oppressor."

While it's not clear when exactly the statue was vandalized, watch the video above for more on the message left on the statue.

It's not clear when exactly the statue, which was commissioned by the Italian American Organizations of Greater Houston Inc., was vandalized on either night.

The vandalism came in the midst of Mayor Sylvester Turner's announcement that two Confederate statues in Houston will be moved to prevent the same fate of the Columbus statue and to provide context.

The Dowling and Spirit of Confederacy statues, which are currently both located in two city of Houston parks, will be removed by Friday, June 19, in commemoration of the Juneteenth holiday, which memorializes the day slaves in Texas learned the Emancipation Proclamation granted their freedom, the Mayor said in a statement.

READ MORE: Mayor Turner announces plans to move 2 Confederate statues in Houston

The statues will be displayed at the Houston Museum of African American Culture in the Museum District.

Still, it comes at a time when monuments, especially those honoring Confederacy leaders, have been toppled during anti-racism demonstrations.

Wednesday night in Virginia, protesters tore down the statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis. In Portsmouth, about 80 miles away, protesters beheaded and then pulled down four statues that were part of a Confederate monument, according to media outlets.

In London, England, protesters dismounted the statue of notorious slave trader Edward Colston and tossed it into Bristol Harbour.

Even though Columbus is not tied to the Confederacy, critics have said he should be viewed not as a hero who 'discovered' America, but as a foreign conqueror who enslaved natives.

A statue of Columbus was also toppled and burned in Richmond, Virginia, earlier this week. That figure also had a sign, this one reading, "Columbus represents genocide."

The statue was thrown into a lake.

This is far from the first time the statue at Bell Park has been vandalized.

It was defaced in 2018 multiple times.

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