This isn’t just a stain on a statue. It’s a stain on the country.
TMZ reports that a statue of George Floyd was vandalized in New York City less than two days after the art installation was unveiled in a public ceremony. “These monuments have meaning,” his brother Terrence Floyd [above] said at the emotional event on Friday night. The sculpture of George didn’t even make it through the weekend before its gleaming bronze surface was defaced with paint.
#UPDATE: According to @NYPDnews the Parks Dept discovered that gray paint was splashed on the face of the George Floyd statue from the forehead to the base at around 10:15 this morning. No further info but it’s being investigated. @NY1 https://t.co/bNCcxjPQvv
— Shannan Ferry (@ShannanFerry) October 3, 2021
The two nearby statues of police brutality victim Breonna Taylor and Civil Rights leader Congressman John Lewis remained untouched. The three sculptures represent ConfrontART’s #SeenInjustice installation scheduled to be in Union Square. What was meant to inspire reflection on the ongoing fight for racial equity became a reminder of how desperate people are to fight progress.
Today, statues of John Lewis, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd, were unveiled in Union Square. Thank you to @ConfrontArt, @UnionSquareNY, @NationalAction, @NYCParks, Deputy Mayor Phil Thompson, and everyone involved for fighting tirelessly in the face of adversity. #SayTheirNames pic.twitter.com/EFJKD0sGon
— NYC Mayor’s CAU (@mayorsCAU) October 1, 2021
Fortunately, artist Chris Carnabuci made all three sculptures easy to clean in the case of vandalism because it already happened to this statue of Floyd a few months ago. In the short time since George Floyd was murdered, his memory has been repeatedly targeted for symbolic deaths and violence like Emmett Till. He was just an innocent child when his brutal lynching by three White men propelled the country towards the Civil Rights Movement, and 66 years later, his memorial sign is constantly stolen or riddled with bullets. Less than a week after the sculpture of George was installed in Flatbush, Brooklyn for Juneteenth this year, it was spray-painted and marked with the logo of a White supremacist group.
The company that produced the George Floyd statue in Union Square says volunteers off the street went to Blick to get supplies to fix it after it was vandalized @NY1 Terence Floyd is expected to come here later this afternoon pic.twitter.com/r7VUXgBOID
— Justine Re (@JustineReTV) October 3, 2021
In a touching moment of solidarity, volunteers from the street sprung into action and bought supplies from a nearby art store to help restore the statue. NYPD is currently investigating, but no arrests have been made yet. They are looking for the person captured on video throwing the paint while skating by on a skateboard.
Regardless of pathetic attempts to destroy this art and the movement behind it, the #SeeInjustice installation will be on display in Union Square until Oct. 30.