PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A 120-year-old statue of an elk has been removed from downtown Portland after protesters lit a fire underneath it Wednesday night.
The statue, which sits atop the David P. Thompson Fountain, has been the target of graffiti and fires during the weeks of protests against systemic racism, police brutality and the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police.
The elk and fountain were donated to the city by one-time mayor David P. Thompson in 1900 to honor elk that once roamed the Willamette Valley., The Oregonian/OregonLive reported. They sit near the Justice Center, the focal point of nightly protests.
According to Portland police, the Regional Arts Council decided the piece needed to be removed for public safety reasons.
Police said they are investigating.