Fri 8:57pm: Lincoln Memorial reopened after paint vandalism
WASHINGTON – Someone splattered green paint on the Lincoln Memorial early Friday, but the statue of the 16th president was reopened by nightfall after the paint was washed away.
The apparent vandalism was discovered around 1:30 a.m. Friday on the statue, the pedestal and the floor, U.S. Park Police said. No words, letters or symbols were visible in the paint.
The marble Lincoln statute had green paint on its shin, coattail, chair and base, as well as paint on the floor of the memorial building.
Capt. Steven Booker said the paint spill “appears intentional based off of the splatter.” Police were reviewing security camera footage to try to identify possible suspects, he said.
No suspects had been identified by Friday afternoon. Police officials said they would not release the security footage because the investigation is ongoing.
The memorial chamber was closed all day to allow a National Park Service crew to finish cleaning up the paint. Workers spent hours using pressurized hoses and a chemical paint remover to try to wash away the paint.
National Park Service spokeswoman Carol Johnson said the work was going well by late Friday.
“It is not permanent damage,” she said. “Our historic preservation crew knows exactly what they need to do.”