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Front page Coverage for Cool to be Canadian in the Montreal Gazette

Vandal leaves 'FLQ' in spray paint

Click the image to see original article

Photo Caption in the Gazette reads: Pro-unity group member Philip McMaster said vandals who defaced the statue are cowardly. (photo: Gazette, Allen McInnis)

Police say they have few leads on who decapitated a statue of Sir John A. Macdonald at downtown Place du Canada yesterday morning.

The statues base was spray-painted with graffiti reading "FLQ," a reference to the Front de Liberation du Quebec terrorist group, which kidnapped a British diplomat and murdered a provincial cabinet minister in 1970.

"A man telephoned CJMS radio station at around 6 a.m. and told them he had just cut the head off of the statue with a saw," said Constable Marcel Allard of the Montreal Urban Community police.

Later in the day, someone sent a fax to news media claiming responsibility for the vandalism. The fax said the event was timed to coincide with the anniversary of the hanging of Louis Riel on Nov. 16, 1885.

The statue was unveiled June 6, 1895, four years after Macdonald's death.

Philip McMaster, a spokes man for It's Cool to be Canadian, a pro-unity action group, visited the site yesterday and issued a statement blasting the vandals as "insignificant, ignorant and cowardly"

Location: Front page of the Montreal Gazette, November 17, 1992.

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