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Vandals Target Columbus Statue In Astoria, Queens

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Vandals have hit another Christopher Columbus statue in New York – this time in Astoria, Queens – amid a national debate over controversial monuments.

"Don't honor genocide" and "take it down" were stenciled on the base of the Columbus statue at Triangle Park.

Some residents said they were upset to see the statue vandalized.

"I'm upset, because I live here all my life, and I don't like seeing the neighborhood being destroyed – our history. What's next, George Washington and federal hall?" one woman said.

"All the statues should stay up," a man said. "They put them up for a reason."

The graffiti comes days after a bust of Columbus was broken off its pedestal in Yonkers.

The Columbus monuments in Buffalo and Houston were also recently defaced with red paint. In Baltimore, the oldest Columbus monument in the country as vandalized by an activist who narrated and posted the attack online.

"Observe how vehemently Republican and Democratic 'misleaders' defend genocidal terrorists like Christopher Columbus and George Washington," he can be heard saying on the video.

The NYPD would not say if it's taking special precautions to protect Columbus Circle, a flashpoint as the city prepares to review monuments and memorials that may cause offense.

CBS2 has been pressing Mayor de Blasio for more information about the Monument Review Commission.

On Tuesday, a spokeswoman would only say that City Hall will release additional information in the coming days.

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