Vandals used red spray paint to deface one of the columns on the Lincoln Memorial, as discovered at 4:30 a.m. on Tuesday.
Now, National Park Service crews are working to remove the red graffiti that reads, “F**K law,” on one of the columns.
Using a mild, gel-type paint stripper which is safe for use on historic stone, a monument preservation crew is removing the mess, an effort which could take a while. After the gel is applied to the paint, it sits for an hour before it can be rinsed with clean water. The crew must evaluate the progress after each application; treatments will be applied, as necessary, until all of the graffiti is gone.
According to the park service, someone also spray-painted a Smithsonian sign on Constitution Avenue.
The vandalism comes three days after a “Unite the Right” rally turned deadly in Charlottesville, Virginia. Alt-right demonstrators, white nationalists, and Neo-Nazis were protesting the planned removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee when they were attacked by Black Lives Matter and Antifa counter-protesters.
A Confederate monument in Baltimore was also vandalized on Monday, the Baltimore Sun reported. Someone poured red paint on a 114-year-old statue of a dying Confederate soldier embraced by a winged figure of Glory. But this is fairly inconsequential since the city voted on Monday to remove such monuments and did so early Wednesday morning while it was still dark.
Another Confederate statue was vandalized Monday when a group of protesters in Durham, North Carolina, tied a rope to it and pulled it down.
The United States Park Police is investigating the Lincoln Memorial incident; anyone with information is asked to contact them at 202-610-7515.
ABOUT THE LINCOLN MEMORIAL
The Lincoln Memorial is an American national monument built to honor the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. It is located on the western end of the National Mall in Washington, D.C., across from the Washington Monument. The architect was Henry Bacon; the designer of the primary statue – Abraham Lincoln, 1920 – was Daniel Chester French; the Lincoln statue was carved by the Piccirilli Brothers; and the painter of the interior murals was Jules Guerin. Dedicated in 1922, it is one of several monuments built to honor an American president. It has always been a major tourist attraction and since the 1930s has been a symbolic center focused on race relations.
The building is in the form of a Greek Doric temple and contains a large seated sculpture of Abraham Lincoln and inscriptions of two well-known speeches by Lincoln, “The Gettysburg Address” and his Second Inaugural Address. The memorial has been the site of many famous speeches, including Martin Luther King Jr.‘s “I Have a Dream” speech, delivered on August 28, 1963, during the rally at the end of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
Like other monuments on the National Mall – including the nearby Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, and National World War II Memorial – the memorial is administered by the National Park Service under its National Mall and Memorial Parks group. It has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since October 15, 1966. It is open to the public 24 hours a day. In 2007, it was ranked seventh on the List of America’s Favorite Architectureby the American Institute of Architects. Since 2010, approximately 6 million people visit the memorial annually.
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