DETROIT - On this Columbus Day a bust of the famous explorer was defaced in downtown Detroit.
Someone used red paint to create what looks like a bloody hatchet blow to the head of Christopher Columbus, located at Jefferson and Randolph near City Hall.
A hatchet was taped to the top of the head with fake blood coming from it.
Although Europeans credit Columbus with discovering the New World, although Native Americas complain that they were here first and that Columbus killed or enslaved thousands of indigenous people in his quest for wealth.
Detroit police are investigating. It is not clear when the statue was vandalized.
The bust was carved by an Italian sculptor and dedicated to the city of Detroit in 1910.
The ax was removed today, while city spokesperson Dan Austin said the general services department will clean up the red paint Tuesday.
"I understand why they would," said Jeff Richards, one of the people who walked over to the bust to snap a photo of what they believe to be symbolic vandalism. "He didn't do anything that people said he did. He took advantage of people who were already there and raped and killed."
"There's a lot of graffiti vandalism that happens in the city," said Jacob Munson. "A lot of it I don't agree with, a lot of it has a larger message. This I believe has a larger message and one that I support."
They represent a portion of the population against celebrating the federal holiday, and questioning the support of a man who slaughtered thousands of the indigenous people and wasn't the first to discover American in 1492.
"I wouldn't say it's appropriate, I don't like defacing public property," said Jeremy Pilachowski, visiting from Chicago. "I would agree that I don't think it should be a holiday."
The famous explorer is considered the great son of Italy. For some Italian immigrants like Mario Fallone who owns the Cantoro's Market in Livonia, the act of vandalism won't change that.
"To me it's very embarrassing when he did so much for this country," Fallone said. "To get this country started. Very sad about it."
"There's a right way to protest and a way not to protest," said Mike Larranaga. "You would think after hundreds of years we would have figured out the wrong and the right way. Whether it be Italian or any other nationality. It is ridiculous."