Statues of Spanish explorer, king defaced by vandals near Lake Merced

Statues of Captain Juan Bautista de Anza and Carlos III of Spain located near San Francisco’s Lake Merced have been defaced with red paint.

Photos shared with the San Francisco Examiner on Thanksgiving Day show the words “Decolonize” and “This is stolen land” painted on the statues.

Bautista de Anza, a Spanish explorer, is credited with establishing an overland route from Mexico to the Pacific Coast of California and establishing a mission at what would become San Francisco, and Carlos III was a Spanish king. Both statues were moved from Justin Herman Plaza to Lake Merced in 2003.

It is unclear when the statues were defaced and by whom. A request for comment to the San Francisco Police Department was not immediately returned.

lwaxmann@sfexaminer.com

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