Vandals Damage Statue Of Christopher Columbus In Yonkers Amid Growing Controversy

YONKERS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — As New York City considers the future of the monument at Columbus Circle, others are taking more direct aims at tributes to the controversial Italian explorer.

For the fourth time in ten days, a statue of Christopher Columbus has been vandalized. This time, it happened in Yonkers.

As CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported, the effigy may seem insignificant compared to the monument that towers over Columbus Circle. But seeing the two-foot high bust knocked off its pedestal and broken into pieces is still a shock to Italian American Patsy Gambardella Jr.

“I’m horrified that something like that has happened in Yonkers,” he said.

yonkers columbus statue Vandals Damage Statue Of Christopher Columbus In Yonkers Amid Growing Controversy

Parts of damaged Christopher Columbus statue knocked over in Yonkers. (credit: Arty Thanasoulis)

The Columbus monuments in Buffalo and Houston were recently defaced with red paint. In Baltimore, the oldest Columbus monument in the country as vandalized by an activist who narrated and posted the attack online.

“Observe how vehemently Republican and Democratic ‘misleaders’ defend genocidal terrorists like Christopher Columbus and George Washington,” he can be heard saying on the video.

Gambardella Jr. says he thinks a small group of people are to blame.

“I think these are all copycat actions,” he said. “To have people come out and destroy them because of their personal opinion, it’s very disrespectful and shows us a very bad direction in the way America is going.”

The NYPD would not say if it’s taking special precautions to protect Columbus Circle, a flashpoint as the city prepares to review monuments and memorials that may cause offense.

CBS2 has been pressing Mayor de Blasio for more information about the Monument Review Commission.

On Tuesday, a spokeswoman would only say that City Hall will release additional information in the coming days.

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