Mahatma Gandhi's life-sized statue vandalised in New York

Mahatma Gandhi's statue
Mahatma Gandhi's statue that was reportedly vandalised. Photo courtesy:

New York: A life-sized bronze statue of Mahatma Gandhi, located here in Union Square near Manhattan, was vandalised on Saturday, an act strongly condemned as despicable' by the Consulate General of India, triggering shock and disappointment among the Indian-American community.

The incident took place early on Saturday, when the statue was defaced by some unknown persons, the Consulate General of India in New York said. The Consulate condemns this act of vandalism in the strongest terms, it said, adding that the matter has been taken up with local authorities.

The matter has also been taken up with the US State Department for immediate investigation and urged appropriate action against those responsible for this despicable act, it said.

The 8-foot-high statue was donated by the Gandhi Memorial International Foundation, and was dedicated on October 2, 1986 to mark the 117th birth anniversary of Gandhi.

American civil rights leader Bayard Rustin had delivered a keynote speech at the ceremony.

Incidentally, the statue was removed in 2001, conserved and reinstalled in a landscape garden area in 2002. Last month, unknown miscreants had similarly vandalised, broken and ripped from the base another statue of Gandhi in a park in the US state of California.

The 6-ft tall, 294kg bronze statue situated in the Central Park of the City of Davis in Northern California, appeared to have been sawed off at the ankles and half its face was severed and missing, local Davis Enterprise newspaper had reported.

It was donated by the Indian government to the city of Davis and was installed by the city council four years ago, amid protests from anti-Gandhi and anti-India organisations.

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