Lincoln Memorial is now open after green paint vandalism, police investigate

1:12 PM, Jul 28, 2013   |    comments
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Photo Gallery: Lincoln Memorial vandalized

Video: Vandals shut down Lincoln Memorial

Video: Looking For Who Vandalized The Lincoln Memorial

Video: Cops Hunt For Lincoln Memorial Vandal

Video: Pledge To Help Nation's Parks & Memorials

If you look closely, you can see the green paint on part of Lincoln's chair and leg. (photo: WUSA9)
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  • WASHINGTON (WUSA9/AP) -- The Lincoln Memorial has reopened after an act of vandalism led to its closure early Friday morning.

    Update: A Virginia woman says she discovered the vandalism and reported it to U.S. Park Police about 1:30 a.m. Friday.

    A splash of green paint was discovered at the base of the statue of President Lincoln and on the former president's lap shortly after 1:00 Friday morning. United States Park Police officials have since reopened the memorial, which was closed to the public for most of the day.

    Investigators will review video from surveillance cameras to help determine the perpetrator of the vandalism.

    One visitor and her children came from Tennessee to take in our national monument, but they couldn't get too close to the Lincoln Memorial.

    "I think it's really sad, and I wish nobody would have done sought we could go up there," said the visitor.

    Others called the vandalism disturbing and wondered out loud why anyone would splatter paint on the memorial.

    Carol Johnson with the U.S. Park Service says preservationists will carefully clean and power wash the national treasure. 

    "Honestly, from a personal level it breaks my heart that somebody would do this, especially this year, the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. It's heartbreaking," Johnson told us.

    Park Police are not releasing too many details but Johnson said, "What I can say is that we are responsible as far as law enforcement, and we were here, the officers were here where they have been at the appropriate time."

    There are seven surveillance cameras mounted around the memorial and investigators will be taking a very close look at the video to determine who could have committed this crime.

    The United States park Police said in a press release that "This type of reprehensible act is unfortunate but it did not permanently damage the memorial and this incident further underscores the need for the National Park Service to provide more funding and more personnel so as to provide a higher level of deterrence through officer presence."

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