Lincoln Memorial Vandalized With Green Paint, Closed for Cleaning

Friday, 26 Jul 2013 12:27 PM

By Ken Mandel

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The Lincoln Memorial is temporarily closed after vandals splattered green paint across the statue and the surrounding marble floor, U.S. Park Police announced Friday.

National Park Service spokeswoman Carol Johnson said officials hoped to reopen the shrine for the nation's 16th president sometime Friday, CNN reports.

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A tourist reported the vandalism about 1:30 a.m. Friday, in which paint was splattered near the feet and base of the 19-foot-tall statue, and on one of the columns.

Officials are reviewing surveillance footage from the popular attraction, but haven't released any information about who may have been behind the act.

According to reports, the paint didn't appear to spell out any message, or have any discernible markings. No damage was reported at the Mall's other memorials and monuments.

The iconic memorial attracted more than six million people in 2012, according to the National Park Service. Located on the west end of the National Mall, the seated statue of Lincoln faces the U.S. Capitol and the Washington Monument.

The tribute to the man who emancipated slaves was designed by Hency Bacon and dedicated in 1922 — with Lincoln's only surviving son, Robert Todd Lincoln, in attendance. The walls around the statue contain excerpts of the Gettysburg Address and Lincoln's second inaugural address. Thirty-six columns surround the revered historical figure, representing the number of states in the U.S. when Lincoln was assassinated.

The memorial has been the site of many protests and gatherings over the years, including place where Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech from the steps on Aug. 28, 1963. Events at the memorial are planned for next month to commemorate the 50th anniversary of that rally.

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