Statue of famed Italian writer defaced

The words "racist" and "rapist" were sprayed under the statue of Montanelli, who bought a 12-year-old Eritrean girl as his wife while serving in the Italian forces during its invasion of Ethiopia in the second Italo-Abyssinian War in 1936.

Montanelli, a writer and right-wing journalist who died in 2001, appeared in a television interview in 1969 discussing how he bought the girl for marriage with money, describing it as "normal practice" in the region at the time.

Anti-racism protesters on Saturday poured red paint over Montanelli's statue in a garden dedicated to the writer.

Italian police have started an investigation on the incident, as global protests sparked by the killing of African American George Floyd in the United States enter their third week.