Greenland: Police arrest suspects in statue vandalism case


The vandalised statue of noted coloniser Hans Egede in Nuuk, Greenland, Sunday June 21, 2020, daubed with red paint early Sunday morning. Hans Egede was a Dano-Norwegian Lutheran missionary who launched mission efforts to Greenland. (Christian Klindt Soelbeck/Ritzau Scanpix via AP)

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COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Police in Greenland have detained a man in his early 30s in connection with the vandalism of a statue of a Danish colonizer that was doused with red paint and the word “decolonize.”

Police told Greenland broadcaster KNR Monday that investigations of the defacement of the statue of Hans Egede, a Lutheran missionary who arrived on the vast island in 1721, were ongoing. The suspect was not identified.

The statue in Nuuk’s old district was vandalized early Sunday as Greenland was marking its National Day. It has been vandalized before.

Statues and monuments of people associated with racism or colonialism have been targeted in light of the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis last month.

Egede, who was born in Norway that was part of Denmark at the time, is considered to be the person who colonized Greenland and founded the capital, Nuuk. Greenland was a Danish colony until 1953 when it became a formal part of the Danish Realm. In 2009, Greenland became a self-governing entity.

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