George Floyd sculpture defaced for the second time in New York
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CAPE TOWN - The recently unveiled sculpture honouring George Floyd has been defaced for a second time in New York City.
Grey paint was thrown on the statue on Sunday, police said, just a few days after it was set up in Union Square.
Security footage shows a man holding a skateboard and mixing paint behind the sculpture before getting on his skateboard, splattering it across the face of the statue and riding away, according to BBC.
Another sculpture of Floyd was also defaced with black spray paint in June after it was unveiled in Flatbush, a neighbourhood in the New York borough of Brooklyn.
The New York Police Department’s hate-crime task force has reportedly opened an investigation into the incident.
The death of Floyd, 46, sparked protests in the US after a video of him being handcuffed and pinned to the ground by a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, circulated on social media.
The statue is expected to remain in Union Square until the end of the month; after that it will travel to other parts of the country.
The artist who created it says the sculpture will continue to stand as a “symbol of love and unity”.
Clean-up efforts by community volunteers are now under way.
Head of Department of Anthropology at UWC Professor Heike Becker said the defacing of the sculpture of Floyd in New York is an awful act.
“In the past couple of years, defacing colonial and racist monuments and statues with throwing paint etc has been a widely-used form of commentary on such memorials. This has been a form of decolonise and anti-racist activism.
“The repeated ‘defacing’ of the so-called ‘Herero Stone’ on the military cemetery in Berlin-Neukoelln that still honours fallen German colonial soldiers, who participated in the German colonial genocide of the Ovaherero and Nama in Namibia, is a good example, as much as that of the Churchill Statue in Parliament Square in London during the June 2020 Black Lives Matter protests.
“It appears that white supremacist right-wingers are using the same tactics - and also demand the removal of monuments that are offensive to them. Also in Parliament Square London stands a Mandela statue, which right-wingers demanded to be removed last year after the Black Lives Matter demands and actions to remove colonialist and racist monuments.
“Attacks like the one on the newly unveiled sculpture of murdered George Floyd are yet another expression of the ‘culture war’, waged especially in the US and UK against movements for decolonisation and against racism,” said Becker.