A statue of George Floyd in New York city’s Union Square was defaced just two days after it was unveiled for an exhibition set up to recognise racial injustice.
In the incident captured on camera, an unidentified skateboarder splashed grey paint across the face of the larger-than-life statue at 10am on Sunday, police said.
The police have started the investigation into the incident and the clean up drive to restore the bust to its original shine began immediately by volunteers.
Videos on social media showed volunteers scraping paint off the statue.
“We put it in two days ago and 48 hours later here we are with vandalism,” said Lindsay Eshelman, co-founder of the group Confront Art.
Sunday’s incident was not the first act of vandalism of the statue installed in the memory of Floyd, who posthumously sparked a racial justice movement across the world after he was killed by a Minneapolis police officer last year.
In June, the statue was smeared with black paint and marked with an alleged logo of a white supremacist group, five days after it was unveiled in Flatbush Avenue, in Brooklyn.
In New York, Floyd’s statue was unveiled with two other statues of John Lewis and Breonna Taylor, both killed at the hands of the police. The statues adjacent to Floyd’s were untouched, the police said.
The three statues were each almost six feet tall, weighed approximately 1,000 pounds, and covered in bronze metallic paint over 200 layers of African mahogany plywood.
The statues will remain on display in the Union Square until 30 October for the exhibition called “See Injustice.” Later, they would be moved to different cities throughout the country to “honour the lives and ongoing messages through art, tying together three iconic people,” Confront Art said.
Brooklyn Borough president Eric Adams expressed condemnation of the vandalism in a tweet.
“I am disgusted by the vandalism of George Floyd’s statue in Union Square. Mr. Floyd’s murder last summer ignited a nationwide movement for justice,” he said.
“The trauma of his tragic death should not be compounded by the trauma of seeing his memorial defaced,” he said.