The statue dedicated to the late Indro Montanelli, a prominent right-wing Italian journalist, writer and historian, was smeared with red paint and tagged with the words «racist, rapist» on Saturday night in Milan.
On Sunday a group of people from the right-wing party Brothers of Italy were seen trying to clean up the statue in Indro Montanelli park in the centre of Milan.
Montanelli, who died in 2001 at the age of 92, was one of the most influential Italian journalists of the 20th century. On June 10, anti-fascist activists called on Milan's mayor to remove the statue because in 1935 Montanelli bought and married a 12 year-old Eritrean girl in Ethiopia, while working for a fascist publication during the Second Italo-Ethiopian War.
The anti-fascist activists had said that the statue should be removed in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
The statue, built in 2006, has previously been targeted during a feminist demonstration last year.
A police investigation is now underway into the incident.
Anti-racism protests have been taking place in the US and around the world since the death of 46-year-old George Floyd during his arrest in Minneapolis on May 25.