City : Uncovering an explorer: Officials worked to clean paint off prominent Columbus statue

first_img Published on November 29, 2011 at 12:00 pm Comments While some brave shoppers were out early Friday in search of the best Black Friday deals, at least one person went out of his or her way to send a message.The Christopher Columbus monument, located in Columbus Square in downtown Syracuse, was vandalized Friday. Red paint was splashed on the monument as well as the message: ‘500 years of genocide and imperialism; wake up.’Syracuse Police Department spokesman Sgt. Tom Connellan said police were notified early Friday that there was damage to the monument. They filed a police report and a detective is working on the case. So far, he said there are no suspects and no indication as to what the graffiti means.The Columbus monument was built in 1934 by Italian immigrants as a tribute to Columbus, according to the Preservation Association of Central New York’s website. The Italian-Americans wanted to dedicate the monument to the city of Syracuse as thanks for finding work there upon immigrating to America. It has been the focal point of downtown Columbus Square since its completion.Pete O’Connor, commissioner of the Syracuse Department of Public Works, said after they were notified of the vandalism, he sent a crew to take off the paint.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text‘There’s a city crew called Steel Trades,’ O’Connor said. ‘They have painters, carpenters, electricians and plumbers. Since the monument involved paint, we called on them to get it off using a high-powered steam gun.’The workers determined that whoever vandalized the statue filled balloons and latex gloves with paint and threw them at the monument, according to a Nov. 25 article by The Post-Standard.O’Connor said it took his crew about five hours to completely remove the paint. The bronze sculpture of Columbus atop the monument, which stands at 11 feet tall, was splashed with paint, so the crew used a bucket truck to remove it.The Department of Public Works crew was done by 11 a.m. and then they completed the rest of the work they were scheduled to do that day.O’Connor said it was fairly easy for his crew to remove all the paint because of the cooler temperature Thursday night into Friday morning. Had it been any warmer, the paint would have been sticky, and it would have been harder for the crew to remove.This isn’t the first time there have been vandalized buildings in the area, Sgt. Connellan said, but ‘this was a specific act of public vandalism.’In Oct. 2010, the door of the Westcott Community Center was sprayed with white paint and graffiti. It was the third incident in three weeks in the Westcott area. But Connellan said graffiti usually isn’t a problem.He said: ‘We usually get calls about petty graffiti on public or private property, but it’s almost always sporadic occurrences.’[email protected] center_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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