PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — For the second time in two months, the statue of Christopher Columbus in Pittsburgh’s Schenley Park has been vandalized.
This happens as other Columbus Statues have been taken down or vandalized around the country. The messages said “no more racist rapist,” “BLM” — the abbreviation for Black Lives Matter — and “abolition now.” This comes after it was vandalized back in June.
Pittsburgh Police have yet to announce when this happened and who they are looking for. This afternoon, police were investigating and crews were cleaning up.
During the June vandalism, hand prints and phrases including “murder” were painted on the statue before it was cleaned up.
“If you actually read into read into the things he’s done, none of it is great or heroic. None of it should be celebrated,” said recent Pitt graduate Shreyvas Vasudevan.
Tuesday morning, several people stopped to take a look at the messages left behind. Thomas Chianelli from Shadyside said Columbus may not be a historical hero, but we shouldn’t be so quick to tear it down.
“I think by leaving monuments up, we can also learn from our mistakes,” he said after looking at the statue.
City crews came by around 7:15 a.m. to start the cleanup process for the statue that was erected in 1958.
“I’m sure there were minorities that built it and maybe they understood some things they didn’t agree with but I think love and peace always win,” said Chianelli.
But Vasudevan said the statue should come down and believe this happened because it’s still standing after being vandalized in June. An online petition for its removal has more than 13,000 signatures.
— Chris Hoffman (@NewsmanChris) July 14, 2020
“When I think about Christopher Columbus, that’s what I see, and I don’t really understand what his contribution to the United States of America itself actually is,” Vasudevan said.
The city owns the statue, which is overseen by the Art Commission. They have a meeting scheduled for July 22.
Another statue that was vandalized earlier this year was the Doughboy in Lawrenceville.
It happened on Memorial Day and it too was defaced with red paint. A phrase as well as hammers and sickles were painted on the statue.
The FBI has joined the investigation into who was responsible for that vandalism.
Police are still searching for the suspect in that case.