The statue of General Tadeusz Kościuszko in Washington DC was vandalised in rioting after the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis. There were several thousand people protested in front of the White House (despite a curfew).
The statue was erected in Washington in 1910. Kościuszko, who is considered a hero of Poland and the US, took part in the American Revolutionary War in 1776-77 . It is situated in front of the White House in Lafayette Park. It was graffitied with vulgar attacks against President Trump and anti-racist slogans.
The Polish ambassador in Washington Piotr Wilczek has called on the White House and the National Parks Service to restore the monument quickly to its original state.
“I am disgusted and appalled by the acts of vandalism committed against the statue of Thaddeus Kościuszko in DC, a hero who fought for the independence of both the US and Poland” – he posted on Twitter.
This act was a tragic irony as Kościuszko was always a vocal opponent of slavery and left all his personal holdings in the United States with his friend Thomas Jefferson to be used to purchase the freedom of African slaves and for their education. Jefferson referred to Kościuszko as “Liberty’s purest son”.
5th day of May 1798
“I Thaddeus Kosciuszko being just in my departure from America do hereby declare and direct that should I make no other testamentory disposition of my property in the United States I hereby authorise my friend Thomas Jefferson to employ the whole thereof in purchasing Negroes from among his own or any others and giving them Liberty in my name, in giving them en education in trades or othervise and in having them instructed for their new condition in the duties of morality which may make them good neigh bours good fathers or moders, husbands or vives and in their duties as citisens teeching them to be defenders of their Liberty and Country and of the good order of Society and in whatsoever may Make them happy and useful, and I make the said Thomas Jefferson my executor of this.”
Pictures: Twitter @p_zuchowski, @Marekwalkuski
Source: “Will of Tadeusz Kosciuszko, 5 May 1798,” Founders Online, National Archives, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, vol. 30, 1 January 1798 – 31 January 1799, ed. Barbara B. Oberg. Princeton University Press, 2003, pp. 332–333.