MONTEREY (CBS SF) — Police in Monterey are searching for vandals who decapitated a statue of Saint Junipero Serra at a city park, after another statue of Serra was toppled over at the nearby mission in Carmel.
According to authorities, vandals targeted the granite statue at Lower Presidio Historic Park sometime on Thursday morning. The statue has been at the park since 1891.
“It depicts Father Serra arriving in 1770 in a small boat from the ship San Antonio,” said Monterey city historian Dennis Copeland. “This statue represents a history of Monterey and of early California.”
This isn’t the first time vandals targeted Serra. After Pope Francis canonized Serra during his trip to the U.S. last month, someone tore down a statue of Serra at the Carmel Mission and covered it in green paint.
Serra was born in Spain and arrived in the Americas in 1749. The friar established nine of the 21 California missions before he died at the Carmel Mission in 1784.