ST. LOUIS — A more than century-old monument to Christopher Columbus in St. Louis has been vandalized just days after a holiday honoring the explorer.

KSDK-TV reports that vandals used red paint to write the words “murderer” and “black lives matter” on the statue that was erected more than 130 years ago in Tower Grove Park.

Police say the vandalism happened early Thursday. The statue also was vandalized last October.

Columbus Day is recognized on the second Monday of October. But there’s a growing push to replace the holiday with Indigenous Peoples Day.

The debate over Columbus’ historical legacy is an old one. It became especially charged after a similar debate over monuments to Confederate generals flared into deadly violence in August at a rally of white nationalists in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Information from: KSDK-TV,

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