Protesters have scrawled \u0022rapist\u0022 and \u0022racist\u0022 on the statue of a late Italian journalist who had acknowledged having had a 12-year-old Eritrean bride while stationed in the Italian colony on the horn of Africa in the 1930s. \n\nThe statue of Indro Montanelli, inside a Milan park that bears his name, has been a flashpoint in Italy's Black Lives Matters protests, which have put renewed focus on the country's colonial past and are pushing for a change in laws to grant automatic citizenship to foreigners born in Italy to parents who are permanent residents. \n\nMontanelli, who died in 2001 at age 92, was one of Italy's most revered journalists, honoured by the Vienna-based International Press Institute in 2000 as among the 50 World Press Freedom Heroes. \n\nA noted war correspondent, he chronicled contemporary Italy from its colonial-era through fascism, Italy's postwar reconstruction and the anti-corruption scandals that overturned Italy's political class in the 1990s. \n\nHe famously quit his post as editor of Silvio Berlusconi's il Giornale when the media mogul turned politician. \n\nIn 1977, he was shot four times in the legs by the Red Brigade domestic terror group as he walked along the park that now bears his name. \n\nHe mentored many of today's top Italian journalists.