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Red paint covers a statue of Christopher Columbus on Monday, Oct. 14, 2019, in Providence, R.I., after it was vandalized on the day named to honor him as one of the first Europeans to reach the New World. The statue has been the target of vandals on Columbus Day in the past. (AP Photo/Michelle R. Smith)
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A statue of Christopher Columbus in Rhode Island has been vandalized on the U.S. holiday named for him.
The statue in Providence was splashed from head to toe with red paint Monday, and a sign reading “Stop celebrating genocide” was leaned against the pedestal.
The word “genocide” was written in orange paint on the rear of the pedestal.
The statue has been the target of vandals on Columbus Day in the past.
The New World explorer has become a polarizing figure.
Native American advocates have pressed states to change Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day over concerns that Columbus spurred centuries of genocide against indigenous populations in the Americas.