'Racist + rapist' spraypainted on Jefferson statue in Charlottesville

A statue of former President Thomas Jefferson was vandalized with the words “RACIST + RAPIST” on Friday at the University of Virginia.

The spray-painting occurred on the day the school commemorates the birth of Jefferson, who founded the university, and would be 275, The Washington Post reported on Friday.

The group Solidarity Cville, an organization that seeks to "amplify the marginalized voices" of Charlottesville, Va., tweeted a photo of the vandalism.

ADVERTISEMENT

“The university is disappointed that individuals vandalized the statue of Thomas Jefferson on the Lawn on the day that we honor his contributions to our university and to our democracy,” said Anthony de Bruyn, a university spokesman, according to the Post.

De Bruyn said the school “recognizes the complexities of Thomas Jefferson’s legacy” but denounced the vandalism for not contributing to “meaningful discussion.”

The paint was removed on Friday and the University Police Department is investigating.

Jefferson, the third U.S. president, reportedly had children with a woman who was enslaved on his plantation. The Virginia statue has frequently been targeted, including in the initial protests that culminated in a violent rally in Charlottesville last August.

The statue was also shrouded in a black cloth in September with signs that called Jefferson a racist and a rapist, the Post reported.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the group Solidarity Cville took credit for the vandalism. The story has been updated.