A bronze George Floyd sculpture in New York City, which opened for public viewing on Friday, was defaced with gray paint on Sunday morning. Frances Sammon, New York Police Department detective, said investigators reviewed footage from the area and saw a suspicious man ducking under one of the statues.
“He then mixes something together, and, as he skates away, he throws a container of paint at the statue,” Sammon told CNN.
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Harmony Seaburg was one of several volunteers who showed up to clean up the statue on Sunday.
“It was really hard to see this larger-than-life man like this,” Seaburg said. “We’re trying to get all the paint off his face, but it’s very emotional.”
The volunteers included a painter and four other people.
“There are about five of us and we’re not related to the project. As far as I’ve gathered, the people who work here are also doing this,” Seaburg said.
Chris Carnabuci, the artist who built the statue, said he saw a similar response from the community when a Floyd bust was defaced in Brooklyn earlier this year. Still, the artist is angered by the latest incident.
“I’m not shocked, but I’m still pissed,” Carnabuci said. “It’s a very counterproductive thing to do, and it’s not the kind of civil discourse —the keyword being civil — I wanted.”
The defaced Floyd bust in New York City is part of Confront Art’s “SEEINJUSTICE” exhibition. It’s one of the three statues at Confront Art’s installation.
Following the death of Floyd in 2020, social justice advocates across the country dedicated several monuments dedicated to the Black Lives Matter movement. Vandals, however, have been repeatedly damaging the tributes, as Blavity previously reported.
At least four Black Lives Matter signs in Arlington, Massachusetts, were destroyed in Aug. 2020. Perpetrators also destroyed a Black Lives Matter banner at the Asbury United Methodist Church in Washington, D.C. Faith leaders then came together to hang a new banner at the church.