Native Woman Sculpture Vandalized with Red Paint; Cross Left Behind with Columbus Day on It

Sculpture covered with red paint

Published October 10, 2017

EL PASO, TEXAS – The FBI and the El Paso Police are investigating the vandalism of a 12-foot bronze sculpture of Nestora Granillo Piarote, a potter born and raised on at Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo at the Tigua Indian Cultural Center, near Socorro, Texas.

Police say the statue was covered with red paint about 8:00 a.m. on Monday, the federal holiday called Columbus Day. At the base of the sculpture, the vandal(s) left behind a red cross bearing the words, “Columbus Day.”

Rick Quezada, director of cultural preservation at the Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo told the El Paso Times he wants to know who vandalized the sculpture.

“We need to find out who it was and we’re going to punish them to the fullest extent of the law,” Quezada said. “We want to deter people from coming in and vandalizing our property, especially with this type of statue.”

The Nestora Granillo Piarote sculpture was unveiled in July 2017 and honors Native women. Piarote has more than 800 descendants within the tribe.

The sculpture was rinsed of the red paint on Monday.


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