The iconic lions at the foot of the the Millennium Gate in Vancouver’s historic Chinatown have become the latest target of racist graffiti during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The words “COVID-19,” “China” and “goof” were written on the statues with red paint or marker at some point prior to Monday afternoon.
By Wednesday, the graffiti had been covered by duct tape that the City of Vancouver says is a part of the removal process.
“The City was extremely disappointed and saddened to learn of yet another incidence of racism in Vancouver, this time in the form of racist graffiti on the Chinatown lions,” said a city spokesperson in an email.
“As the City already pointed out at the end of April, racism, xenophobia and hate speech have no place in Vancouver and the City is appalled by the recent increase in anti-Asian discrimination that has occurred during the current pandemic.”
There have also been several incidents of racist verbal abuse, as well as racially-motivated physical assaults reported in recent weeks.
Vancouver police say they have seen an uptick of racist incidents targeting people of Asian descent since the pandemic began.
Earlier this month, Vancouver police said they had dealt with 20 reports of anti-Asian hate crimes so far this year, compared to 12 in all of 2019.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Vancouver police.
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