RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee on Richmond's famed Monument Avenue has been vandalized.
Red paint was splattered on the statue's base. The letters BLM, an apparent reference to the Black Lives Matter movement, was also sprayed on the base.
Virginia Capitol Police, which is responsible for policing the monuments, told news outlets the vandalism occurred late Friday or early Saturday between patrols.
The vandalism occurs a week ahead of the one-year anniversary of the deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville that was organized in part as a protest to plans to remove a Lee Statue there.
A Richmond commission that reviewed the city's row of Confederate statues on Monument Avenue recommended earlier this year removing a statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis but keeping others in place.