PROVIDENCE, R.I. (The Blaze/AP) — A statue of Christopher Columbus in Providence, R.I. was doused in red paint and a sign reading "murderer" was hung around its waist over the Columbus Day holiday.
WJAR-TV reports the vandalism was discovered Monday morning.
The statue of a standing and pointing Columbus sits at a busy intersection in the capital city.
Police say they are investigating it as vandalism.
A representative of the Sons of Italy tells WPRO-AM that he would like the vandalism to be investigated as a hate crime against Italians.
"When a kid spray paints the side of a building, that's vandalism", Raymond Dettore of the local Sons of Italy told WPRO's John Depetro. "When they do something like this that sends a message I think it above an average vandalism case."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.