Boston | A statue of Christopher Columbus has been beheaded on Tuesday night in Boston, and another trail in a lake in Virginia, in the wake of the anti-racism movement revived in the United States by the death of George Floyd.
In Boston, an investigation is underway, but no arrest has been made at this stage, said a spokesman for the local police to the AFP.
The statue to the honor of the Italian explorer is perched on a stele in the Christopher Columbus park, in the heart of the city of New-England. It has already been vandalized, the image of Christopher Columbus being challenged in the United States for several years.
The genoese navigator, long touted as the “discoverer of America”, is now often regarded as one of the figures of the genocide of native americans and indigenous people in general. And denounced in the same way as slave owners or confederate generals during the american Civil war.
Dozens of u.s. cities have replaced the celebration in October “Columbus Day” – became a public holiday federal in 1937 – by a day-long tribute to the “indigenous peoples”. But not Boston or New York city, with strong communities of Italian origin to which this day is a tribute.
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“I think it is far to capitalize” on the wave of protests against racism which is currently sweeping through the country, said Wednesday to AFP a jogger who was passing in front of the monument damaged in Boston. “All as Blacks in this country, the natives have been mistreated. This movement is powerful, and it (the beheading) is very, very symbolic”.
Another statue of the explorer was abducted on Tuesday evening in Richmond, Virginia, and dragged to a lake.
The governor of Virginia, where they erected the first English settlers before becoming the heart of American slavery – was reported last week want to debunk the faster another statue of the city, that of the commander-in-chief of the army of the south, general Robert E. Lee.
The mayor of Boston, Martin Walsh, has indicated that the statue would be removed as soon as Wednesday, pending a final decision on his fate, according to local media.
This movement that attacks the symbols of a past slave owner and a racist has affected other countries, notably Great Britain and Belgium, where statues of colonial figures have been attacked in recent days.