The ceramic statue, which depicts Taylor smiling, is installed in downtown Auckland near the City Hall. The statue is fixed to a plinth that reads “Say Her Name: Briona Taylor”.
But on Saturday, just two weeks after it was installed, the statue was found in pieces. Pieces of the back and side of the statue were missing, and parts of Taylor’s porcelain face were severed.
The Auckland Police Department confirmed to CNN that it is investigating the act of vandalism, although it has not identified any suspects or possible motives.
Artist Leo Carson, who created the statue, told CNN that he considers it “an act of racial aggression intended to suppress the struggle for black freedom.”
He said he discovered the statue was damaged in an Instagram message, when a follower sent him a photo of his shattered pieces.
He told CNN that the vandalism was an affront to Carson’s motives behind the bust, which he said he created “to raise the profile and encourage protesters” when they gather in downtown Auckland to organize against racism and injustice.
To prevent future damage to the Taylor statue, Carson intends to rebuild it in bronze with donations from the GoFundMe page, which has already exceeded its $ 5,000 target.
“The saboteurs wanted to intimidate and silence the Black Lives Matter movement,” Carson said of his fundraising goal. “This is evidence that they are few and that we are in the thousands.”
Carson wrote on the fundraising platform that any remaining money would be donated to the Taylor family.