The statue of the navigator Christopher Columbus placed in Santa Catarina park, in Funchal, was knocked down from its location and vandalised at dawn on 26 July, said a source from the office of the mayor of the municipality.

The same source added that “at first glance, it had just been knocked over”, adding that the statue “has some cracks.”

The statue of the explorer was made in 1940 before being placed at its current location in 1968.

Columbus passed through Madeira on three occasions during his voyages to the Americas, having docked there in 1475, 1480 and 1492.