Back in June, a wooden bust of George Floyd was defaced just days after being unveiled as part of Brooklyn’s Juneteenth celebrations. And now, white supremacists appear to have struck again, targeting another newly installed statue dedicated to the murdered social justice figure.
CNN’s Liam Reilly has reported that “a bronze bust of George Floyd — part of Confront Art’s ‘SEEINJUSTICE’ exhibition — was defaced on Sunday morning [Oct. 3].”
NYPD detective Frances Sammon told CNN that “the bust — one of the three statues at Confront Art’s installation, which debuted on Thursday but opened to the public on Friday evening — was defaced with a grey, water-based paint around 10 a.m. on Sunday,”
A cleanup effort got underway Sunday morning to clear a vandal’s attempt to defame a sculpture of George Floyd in New York City’s Union Square. https://t.co/wMpBacjFJI
— NBC New York (@NBCNewYork) October 3, 2021
In addition to Floyd, the exhibition located in Union Square also includes busts of Breonna Taylor and John Lewis.
“There’s video footage police were able to ascertain,” Sammon told reporters. “They show a male ducking down under one of the statues. He then mixes something together, and, as he skates away, he throws a container of paint at the statue.”
Confront Art co-founder Andrew Cohen told Reilly that despite being saddened by the statues being defaced, he was inspired by efforts of the community to right the wrong; by the time he arrived at the scene, volunteers were already working to clean the statue.
“They went to the hardware store and bought supplies out of their own pockets,” he said. “This is inspiring teamwork and support from the community.”
One of those volunteers, Harmony Seaburg, told CNN that she and the other individuals working to clean the statue didn’t know each other but added that they all pulled together because they knew the importance of the message behind the work.
George Floyd memorial statue vandalized in NYC https://t.co/H41M4yLotf pic.twitter.com/5Z3uZgPo27
— New York Post (@nypost) October 3, 2021
“It was really hard to see this larger-than-life man like this. We’re trying to get all the paint off his face, but it’s very emotional,” Seaburg said. “One man [volunteering was] a painter, and he knew what to get. 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.”
In an interview with CNN, Chris Carnabuci, the artist who created the Floyd statue, praised the community effort to restore his work but said he was still upset that such an effort was even needed.
“In Flatbush, it was four days after the opening,” he said, referring to the vandalization of the first Floyd statue. “In this case, the official opening with the press was Thursday, so it’s only been a few days. I’m not shocked, but I’m still pissed. It’s a very counterproductive thing to do, and it’s not the kind of civil discourse — the keyword being civil — I wanted.”
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