Protestors in Santa Rosa painted a downtown sculpture black over the weekend, a move that has sparked conversation about the role of public art in the community.
The large, off-white stone hand sits outside a Santa Rosa Plaza shopping center and is usually just a photo-op or conversation piece. The 12-foot-long, six-foot-high monument was originally dedicated to agricultural workers more than 20 years ago. It was painted black during a weekend youth-led Black Lives Matter protest.
Police Chief Rainer Navarro told KCBS Radio the incident is being investigated as vandalism.
This isn’t the first time the sculpture was targeted as a form of protest. It was previously splattered with red paint in protest of the Iraq War.
Emma, who lives in Santa Rosa, said it makes the piece more relevant and advances the message of the Black Lives Matter protest.
"Art is not violent, art is thought-provoking," she said. "Whether it be sanctioned by the government or not, it’s a wonderful way to do that."
Legal action is not being considered.