Columbus Monument Vandalized for Fifth Time

by Chris Wangler 

October 11, 2022

The Christopher Columbus Monument was tagged again over the long weekend.

On Sunday, the day before Columbus Day, the words “Genocider” and “DEATH TO AMERIKA” were discovered written in red paint on the stone monument in the southwest corner of Waltham Common.

“No one has been taken into custody and the matter is still under investigation,” said Waltham Police Det. Sgt. Tim King late Monday.

Since 2017, the monument has been vandalized four other times, typically around the Columbus Day holiday and related to Christopher Columbus’ impact on the Americas. 

In June 2020, in the wake of George Floyd’s death in police custody, the letters “BLM” were painted on the monument. Each time, red paint was used.

The city approved a request from prominent Waltham Italians back in 1992 to erect the monument to correspond with the 500th anniversary of Columbus’ landing in the Americas.

The stone monument includes engraved images of the Italian explorer and his ships, as well as text about his life.

But historians and activists have argued that Columbus’ impact was devastating to indigenous peoples in the Americas.

As a result, some government entities have changed the name of the October holiday from Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

Last year, president Joe Biden became the first president to mark Indigenous Peoples’ Day, which was observed alongside Columbus Day, a federal holiday established by Congress.

Joseph Sharkey and file photos