Lincoln Memorial vandalized
(NBC) - The Lincoln Memorial will be closed until further notice after green paint was discovered on the monument Friday morning.
A visitor found the paint splattered on the statue and on the floor around it just before 1:30 a.m. and reported it to police. No words or symbols were written on the statue, News4's Megan McGrath reported.
The U.S. Park Police say the monument will reopen once the National Park Service cleans the statue. There's no estimate on when that work will be done, but maintenance crews are expected to arrive Friday morning.
Morning joggers frequently run up and down the memorial's stairs as part of their workouts, but not this Friday. Instead, the stairs to the memorial were blocked off with yellow tape.
"I have no idea who would want to do something like that," said Scott Arndt, who was out on his morning run shortly before 6 a.m. "To me, it's defacing America. It's not just defacing the Lincoln Memorial, but it's something against all of America."
"People come from all over the world, and to show that they can't get into one of our national landmarks because somebody vandalized it is kind of a black mark on our country," said jogger Keith Gillespie.
Surveillance cameras are located on either corner of the monument. There's no word on whether the cameras captured the vandal.
This is not the first time vandalism has been reported at the site of one of the National Mall's memorials.
Back in 2007, an oily substance was found on the memorial wall of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Police determined the case to be an act of vandalism and not an accident, The Washington Post reported. The removal process took weeks to complete.
Two additional incidents of vandalism have been reported at Vietnam Veterans Memorial in the past. In 1993, the directory stands at the entrance of the memorial were burned, and a swastika and scratches were found etched in two of the memorials panels in 1988. Both panels were replaced.
Other than those incidents, NPS spokeswoman Carol Johnson said she cannot recall any other cases of vandalism at the National Mall.
The Lincoln Memorial, which was dedicated in 1922, is open to the public 24 hours a day.