According to a report by the BBC, every road sign on Penny Lane was vandalized overnight on June 12 following a global movement to rename and remove racist monuments, with some of the street's signs completely blacked out with spray paint, while others were tagged "racist."
While city officials are ready and willing to change the street's name if claims about its ties to slavery are true, some remain skeptical about the road's history, including Liverpool's Mayor Steve Rotherham.
"If it is as a direct consequence of that road being called Penny Lane because of James Penny, then that needs to be investigated," Rotherham told Sky News. "Something needs to happen and I would say that sign and that road may well be in danger of being renamed."
Additionally, the International Slavery Museum also has its doubts about the road's history.
"There is some debate about whether Penny Lane was named after James Penny, but the evidence is no conclusive," reads a recent tweet from the museum. "We are actively carrying out research on this particular question and will re-evaluate our display on Liverpool street names and change if required."
Meanwhile, a local tour guide named Jackie Spencer told the BBC that Penny Lane "has nothing to do with slavery."
She added: "James Penny was a slave trader, but he had nothing to do with the Penny Lane area."
See photos of the vandalized street signs below.
'In Penny Lane there is a knobhead with an aerosol...' pic.twitter.com/IYjkWWMcUV— Tom (@Tommy_1972) June 12, 2020
Popped down to Penny Lane to get pictures on the graffiti to find the community already hard at work cleaning the signs. Real anger here. THERE IS NO CONNECTION BETWEEN PENNY LANE AND JAMES PENNEY THE SLAVE TRADER pic.twitter.com/xRukv7m4op— Richard Kemp CBE (@cllrkemp) June 12, 2020
We need bins all around the world so people who have got copy's of @PaulMcCartney song #pennylane can throw them away. I'm sorry the worlds gone mad. We must keep history to remind us how evil some people can be and we never do it again. #BlackLivesMattterUK ALL LIVES MATTER pic.twitter.com/ljbAJWuZ2u— Pete Price (@PeteCityPrice) June 12, 2020