The grave of an enslaved African man has been vandalized in an apparent “retaliation attack” after protesters in the city of Bristol, London toppled the statue of a prominent slave trader.
British officials said Thursday, two tombstones in memory of Scipio Africanus, who lived in Bristol in the 18th century, were damaged.
A message scrawled in chalk nearby called for the statue of Edward Colston to be put back or “things will really heat up.”
The brightly-painted memorial, in a churchyard in Henbury, Bristol, is listed as a structure of historical interest to be preserved.
“This looks like a retaliation attack for the recent events involving the Colston statue,” local official Mark Weston said.
Police said they have received a report of criminal damage to a monument at Henbury Parish Church.
It said it believed the incident took place on Tuesday or Wednesday, and appealed for anyone with information to come forward.
Historian said, the tomb was an early example of a memorial to a man born into slavery and who ended his life as a servant in an English noble household. He died on Dec. 12, 1720.