CAPE TOWN – The recently unveiled sculpture in honor of George Floyd has been disfigured for the second time in New York City.
Gray paint was thrown over the statue on Sunday, police said, just days after it was installed in Union Square.
Security footage shows a man holding a skateboard and mixing paint behind the sculpture before getting on his skateboard, splashing it on the statue’s face and walking away, according to the BBC.
Another Floyd sculpture was also disfigured with black spray paint in June after it was unveiled in Flatbush, a neighborhood in the New York neighborhood of Brooklyn.
The New York Police Department’s hate crimes task force has reportedly opened an investigation into the incident.
The death of Floyd, 46, sparked protests in the United States after a video of him handcuffed and pinned to the ground by white policeman Derek Chauvin circulated on social media.
The statue is expected to remain in Union Square until the end of the month; after that he will travel to other parts of the country.
The artist who created it claims that the sculpture will continue to be a “symbol of love and unity”.
Cleanup efforts by community volunteers are now underway.
UWC Anthropology Department Head Professor Heike Becker said the degradation of Floyd’s sculpture in New York City was a horrific act.
“In the last two years, degrading colonial and racist monuments and statues by throwing paint, etc. has been a widely used form of commentary on such memorials. It has been a form of decolonization and anti-racist activism.
“The repeated ‘degradation’ of the so-called ‘Pierre Herero’ on the Berlin-Neukoelln military cemetery which still honors fallen German colonial soldiers, who participated in the German colonial genocide of Ovaherero and Nama in Namibia, is a good example, as much as that of the statue of Churchill in Parliament Square in London during the Black Lives Matter protests in June 2020.
“It appears that right-wing white supremacists are using the same tactics – and also demanding the removal of monuments that offend them. Also in Parliament Square in London stands a statue of Mandela, which right-wingers demanded to be removed last year after Black Lives Matter’s demands and actions to remove colonialist and racist monuments.
“Attacks like the one on the recently unveiled sculpture of murdered George Floyd are another expression of the ‘culture war’, waged particularly in the United States and the United Kingdom against movements for decolonization and against racism,” Becker said.