August 31, by Nathaly Pesantez
A Christopher Columbus monument on Astoria Boulevard has been sprayed with blue letters displaying anti-genocide expressions.
The monument at Columbus Triangle, right off the Astoria Boulevard station and bordered by Astoria Boulevard South, Hoyt Avenue South, and 33rd Street, had several markings dripping down the white of the monument’s stone base that read “Don’t Honor Genocide” and “Take it Down”.
The statue of Columbus itself above the white base did not appear to be marked with graffiti.
It is unclear when the markings initially appeared, although social media users began posting about the graffiti early Thursday morning.
The NYPD said as of Thursday afternoon that they do not have anything on file regarding the incident.
The Astoria Post has reached out to the Parks Department about the incident but has yet to get a response.
The graffiti at Columbus monument in Astoria follows an incident in Yonkers where a 2-foot statue of Columbus was split apart after it was knocked down by vandals.
Columbus statues and monuments have been in the spotlight recently after Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city will conduct a 90-day review of “all symbols of hate” on city property. Critics have called for the removal of statues dedicated to Columbus, and Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said the city should take a look at the Christopher Columbus structure at Columbus Circle for potential consideration.
The statue of Christopher Columbus at the Astoria triangle was unveiled in 1941 in a ceremony that included 5,000 people. Money to build the stone base was raised after World War II, and the statue was permanently installed at the triangle.