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Christopher Columbus statues vandalized in Connecticut

Someone scrawled the phrase "kill the colonizer" in red paint

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(NBC News 2017)

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (NBC News) – Two statues of Christopher Columbus in Connecticut were vandalized Sunday. 

Someone scrawled the phrase "kill the colonizer" in red paint on the statue of Columbus in Middletown. 

Another statue of Columbus in New Haven was vandalized with red paint. 

City crews worked to clean the statue, but you can still see the stains from the paint. 

For years there has been a debate over Columbus' legacy. 

Some people believe a man who opened the US to European domination should not be celebrated. 

But many Italian-Americans argue that Columbus is a symbol of their ethnic pride. 

Police in Connecticut have not said whether the two incidents are connected.

They are asking the public for any information that could bring them to a suspect. 

The penalty for this kind of crime can be up to five years in prison and as much as a $5,000 fine.