Defaced George Floyd statue moves to Manhattan – after toothbrush cleaning

A statue of George Floyd that was defaced in Brooklyn has been cleaned – painstakingly, with toothbrushes – and is headed for display in Union Square in Manhattan.

Floyd, 46, was murdered by a police officer in Minneapolis in May last year, a killing which sparked worldwide protests against racism and police brutality.

Earlier this year the officer, Derek Chauvin, was convicted and sentenced a 22 and a half years in jail.

The statue of Floyd was unveiled in Brooklyn on the Juneteenth holiday, on Flatbush Avenue. Five days later, en 24 junio, it was vandalized with black paint and marked with the logo of a white supremacist group.

Memorials to Floyd have been defaced, including in Newark, New Jersey and Philadelphia.

Members of the group that installed the statue in Brooklyn painstakingly cleaned it. Local residents and one of Floyd’s brothers gathered around it this week to bid farewell ahead of its long-planned move to Union Square in lower Manhattan as part of an exhibition in September.

“I heard the news about the vandalism,” Terrence Floyd said. “I was so proud that I got word that Flatbush held it down. They really supported us, looked out for the statue, looked out for the spirit of my brother.”

Él agregó: ”You try to stop us, but you can’t stop us. And we still gonna continue, with love.”

Andrew Cohen of Confront Art, the group behind the statue, said people spent hours cleaning off the paint with toothbrushes and hands.

“The only method that worked was really, really putting the elbow grease into it," él dijo.

The statue will go back to a studio on Monday for further cleaning. No arrests have been made in the vandalism.

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