Buffalo Police are looking for the vandals who splashed red paint on the statue of Christopher Columbus near Columbus Parkway on the city's west side.
Investigators say the damage happened sometime overnight.
The city's anti-graffiti team is in the process of removing the paint.
The statue was vandalized at a time when a petition drive is underway to remove the statue from the park altogether.
As of Friday afternoon, the change.org petition had collected close to 1,200 signatures. It states "Columbus established the beachhead for ruthless conquest and settler colonialism and inaugurated the genocidal devastation of whole continents."
The organizer of the campaign says the petition will be delivered to Mayor Bryon Brown.
Anyone with information on the vandalism of the statue is asked to call the Buffalo Police confidential tipline at 847-2255.