By Lila Watts and Laura Ly, CNN
A statue of George Floyd that has been in Brooklyn’s Flatbush neighborhood since Juneteenth will be moved on Monday — first back to the studio for refurbishment and then to Manhattan’s Union Square Park in September as planned, according to Confront Art, the group that produced the statue.
The 6-foot statue was unveiled this summer as part of New York City’s Juneteenth celebrations. It was meant to be displayed in Brooklyn for a few weeks before being moved to Manhattan, but it was vandalized days later with black spray paint and the website address of a white nationalist group.
Though volunteers have been working to clean the statue since its defacement, a spokesperson for Confront Art confirmed it will be transported back to the studio for further restoration before making the trip to Union Square.
“I heard the news about the vandalism. I was so proud that I got word that Flatbush held it down,” said Terrence Floyd, brother of George Floyd, at a farewell celebration held for the statue on Thursday night. “They really supported us. They looked out for the statue, they looked out for the spirit of my brother.”
The NYPD said Friday it did not have any updates regarding the defacement.
Police said in June that they were checking on the whereabouts of four males in connection with the vandalism and released a video and a photo of what it said was the four walking toward the vicinity of the statue before the incident.
The office of Mayor Bill de Blasio, in a tweet, described the vandalism as a “racist, loathsome, despicable act of hate.”
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo directed the State Police Hate Crimes Task Force to offer assistance in the investigation.
“It’s still tarnished from some of the vandalism,” said Lindsay Eshelman, cofounder of Confront Art. “We worked so hard to get it off, but it’s still there. But it’s a reminder that even though someone came to destroy something, as a community we rebuilt it.”
™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.
CNN’s Kristina Sgueglia and Mark Morales contributed to this report.