Christopher Columbus Statue Vandalized in Providence, RI

A statue of Christopher Columbus was found vandalized in Rhode Island Monday, the day many observe the holiday named for him.  

The statue in Elmwood was found with the word "genocide" painted on its base and a sign saying "Stop Celebrating Genocide" chained around it, WJAR reports. Photographs of the scene show bright, red paint splattered on the statue. 

The statue was dedicated in 1893, WJAR said. 

The vandalism comes as a handful of states celebrate their first Indigenous People's Day in lieu of honoring Columbus, over concerns the Italian explorer helped launch centuries of genocide against indigenous populations in the Americas.

While Minnesota, Vermont, New Mexico, Washington D.C., and Maine recognize their first Indigenous Peoples Day, on Monday, Rhode Island will not. The shift in focus from Columbus has sparked some controversy and backlash from conservatives.

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