In what Supervisor Aaron Peskin calls "a hateful, despicable piece of divisive vandalism," someone or multiple someones threw red paint over the statue of Columbus next to Coit Tower on the eve of Columbus Day — and on the day of the Italian Heritage Parade in North Beach.
This was not the first time this statue has been vandalized, but it was one of the most thorough jobs in memory.
In addition to the hefty coat of paint, as ABC 7 reports, the base of the statue was "inscribed" with the phrase, "Destroy all monuments of genocide and kill all colonizers." And according to KPIX, all this was done during the Italian Heritage Parade.
The paint was reportedly fresh when park workers arrived Sunday morning.
#SanFrancisco | Christopher Columbus statue near Coit Tower vandalized.
Red paint covered the face of the controversial colonist, while the base of the statue had graffiti that read "Destroy all monuments of genocide and kill all colonizers."@abc7newsbayarea pic.twitter.com/GyDEeMfeu9
As the Chronicle and others have noted, while a part of San Francisco still celebrates Columbus on Columbus Day — and the neighborhood that has historically been home to SF's Italian-Americans still has a main drag that bears his name and a festival on the holiday weekend — the Board of Supervisors voted in 2018 to recognize Indigenous Peoples' Day in lieu of Columbus Day.
And, naturally, there were some mixed reactions to the vandalism. One Italian-American who lives in SF, Robbie Sanguinetti, tells KPIX, "Mr. Columbus over there disrespected a lot of people, to put it lightly. I love my Italian Heritage. I’ve been to Italy, Italy is a beautiful place. That said, it doesn’t have to be anywhere else, especially when the heritage that was already here has its own way of being beautiful."
Shoutout to whoever properly painted over the christopher columbus statue at Coit Tower. Happy Indigenous Peoples' Day! pic.twitter.com/0uIfplAHHG— MA (@Yoyohko) October 14, 2019
Peskin tells ABC 7, "There are surveillance cameras up at Coit Tower and the cops are going to see what they can find in those videos. If somebody can be found and apprehended and charged they will be."