RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The Jefferson Davis monument on Monument Avenue in Richmond, Virginia has been vandalized.
"BLACK LIVES MATTER" is spray painted onto the side of the monument. Similar incidents have happened to other Confederate monuments around the country.
City workers were power washing the graffiti off the more than 100-year-old monument on Thursday morning, with mixed results. The city is considering a contractor to repair the damage.
As the day progressed, a small group of protesters gathered at the monument, holding signs that also said "Black Lives Matter." At one point a man donning a Confederate flag bandanna arrived with a can of "Goof Off" spray paint remover and tried to further remove the graffiti, although it may have actually done more damage to the monument in the process.
Jefferson Davis was President of the Confederate States of America. The monument was sculpted by Edward Valentine and unveiled on June 3, 1907. It is one of several dedicated to the Confederacy along Monument Avenue in Richmond. Others include Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and Fontaine Maury. A monument to Richmond-native Arthur Ashe was added in 1996, three years after the tennis player's death.
Monument Avenue is now home to several historic homes and is a highlight for tourists and home to events in Richmond. Each year tens of thousands run past the monuments during the Monument Avenue 10k. The upcoming Richmond 2015 UCI Road World Championships will include Monument Avenue on many of the courses in September. However, a group known as the Defenders for Freedom, Justice and Equality has called for the course to be moved.