State police are investigating after the word "racists" was spray painted across a portion of a Confederate monument on the grounds of the Texas Capitol Building.

The Austin American-Statesman's Brandon Mulder reports that the vandalism was discovered by a state trooper early Sunday morning, after which the State Preservation Board cleaned it up. The culprit, if caught, will face criminal mischief charges.

According to the State Preservation Board's website, the monument sculpted by Pompeo Coppini was erected in 1903.

"Five bronze figures on a gray granite base represent the Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery and Navy with Confederate president Jefferson Davis in the center," the site reads. "The base includes a listing of Civil War (1861-1865) battles and the names of the thirteen states that withdrew from the Union, eleven of whom joined the Confederate States of America."

In recent years, controversy over Confederate monuments has increased, with many calling for their removal and transfer to museums. Some believe they honor people on the wrong side of history and perpetuate racism, while others defend their merit as historic markers and tributes to fallen soldiers.

Back in early May, the Texas Senate approved Senate Bill 1663 would have required majority votes by local governments to remove or alter controversial monuments that are over a quarter of a century old. The bill would also have required a majority vote on the state level for altering or removing such monuments on state property.

SB 1663 did not make it to Governor Greg Abbott's desk.

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