The statue of a famous Italian journalist was defaced and smeared with red paint on Saturday evening in Milan, AFP reported.
Anti-racist protests after the death of George Floyd at the hands of the police in the United States have led to the dismantling or defacing of several statues of controversial personalities around the world.
The statue was dedicated to Indro Montanelli, founder of the newspaper Il Giornale. The inscription “racist, rapist” was tagged with black paint on the base of the statue.
This is the first statue to be damaged in Italy since the wave of protests around the world over the case of George Floyd, an African-American who died in the United States on 25 May at the knee of a white policeman during his arrest.
Montanelli defined himself as “anti-communist” and “anarcho-conservative,” which led him to be labelled as fascist by the Italian left during the 1970s and 1980s. In 1935 he volunteered for the colonial war in Eritrea led by Mussolini.
Recently, an “anti-fascist” Milanese association, I Sentinelli, had demanded for the statue to be removed, accusing Montanelli of having taken a child as his wife in Ethiopia during the Italian colonialist period in Africa.
Milanese mayor Beppe Sala rejected the request, supported by Italian Foreign Minister Luigi di Maio.
The statue has already been targeted in the past. It was covered with pink paint last year during a feminist demonstration.
The Brussels Times