Columbus Memorial Unceremoniously Beheaded In Yonkers Park

Amid a wave of vigilante statue vandalism throughout New York and the rest of the country, a bust of Christopher Columbus was found destroyed in a Westchester park over the weekend, police said.

The head of the bronze statue was broken in two pieces and left near a trash can in Columbus Memorial Park in Yonkers early Sunday morning, according to News 12. Police say they're actively investigating the criminal incident, "including the possibility that it could be juvenile vandalism during overnight hours."

Some Yonkers residents are pretty worked up about the beheading. CBS2 reports that "seeing the two-foot high bust knocked off its pedestal and broken into pieces is still a shock to Italian American Patsy Gambardella Jr," who discovered the broken head.

"I'm horrified that something like that has happened in Yonkers," he told the station. "It's very disrespectful and shows us a very bad direction in the way America is going."

At least four statues of Columbus have been destroyed within the last ten days, CBS notes, which some see as a response to the deadly white supremacist violence in Charlottesville. And earlier this week, the controversial statue of a doctor who experimented on slaves was found defaced in Central Park, with the word "racist" spray-painted on its back, and red paint applied to its eyes, mouth, and neck.

While New York City's 76-foot tall Columbus statue remains intact for now, some city officials have suggested the towering Columbus Circle monument be considered a potential hate symbol. Currently, City Hall is undergoing "a 90-day review of all symbols of hate on city property," and Mayor de Blasio floated the idea earlier this week of attaching a disclaimer-style plaque to the Columbus monument.

"There's more than one way to address this," the mayor said at press conference in Brooklyn. "I don't think anyone should leap to any conclusions. They should see how this commission does its work and what it presents."

Featured in News