For the second time this month, the lion statues at the foot of the Millennium Gate in Vancouver’s historic Chinatown have been targeted with racist graffiti.
Photos posted by the City of Vancouver show one of the lions defaced with the words “Goof China” and “COVID-19” on it.
The language and the placement of the markings are similar to the last round of graffiti.
“We are extremely disheartened to share the news that yet again the Chinatown Lions have been defaced with racist graffiti,” posted the city on Twitter.
“We are working with Chinatown community to identify steps we can take to address this issue, as well as supporting (Vancouver police) with their investigation.”
Vancouver police confirmed an investigation into the graffiti.
As of Friday, the graffiti had been covered with duct tape, which is used as a part of the removal process.
The city says it is also looking at ways to coat the statues to prevent them being further defaced.
It is the latest in a string of incidents of anti-Asian racism in the region linked to the pandemic.
Along with the previous round of graffiti on the lions, the nearby Vancouver Chinatown Cultural Centre was also hit with racist graffiti this month.
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There have also been multiple reports of racially-motivated verbal harassment, and several anti-Asian assaults, the most recent of which was just reported Friday.
Vancouver police alone have opened 29 investigations into anti-Asian crime so far this year, compared to only four by this time last year.
Vancouver police have identified 77 “hate-associated” files so far in 2020, up from 51 during the same time last year.