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Washington Monument Vandalized With Red Paint, Vulgar Message

Washington, DC – The Washington Monument was temporarily closed on Tuesday after a vandal splashed red paint onto the marble structure and scrawled an obscene message at its base.

“Have you been f—ked by this,” the graffiti read, according to WTOP. “Gov says tough s—t.”

The U.S. Park Police said it took a suspect into custody at approximately 8 p.m. on Sept. 20.

He was later identified as 44-year-old Shaun Ray Deaton, WNYW reported.

Deaton, who hails from Bloomington, Indiana, was charged with vandalism, trespassing, and tampering.

The investigation into the incident remained ongoing and police said additional charges could be forthcoming, according to ABC News.

The motive for the vandalism was unclear.

The area around the base of the historic monument was temporarily closed to the public on Tuesday night so conservators could begin repairing and restoring it, WNYW reported.

“The United States Park Police has an adult male in custody for vandalizing the base of the Washington Monument with paint,” the US Park Police told ABC News in a statement. “The area at the base of the monument will be temporarily closed.”

National Parks Service (NPS) Spokesperson Mike Litterst explained that the porous nature of the marble could have allowed a significant amount of the paint to be absorbed, according to WTOP.

As a result, the restoration process will likely require multiple treatments applied over a period of several weeks.

“It’s very similar to the vandalism at the Lincoln Memorial in 2008 when a woman threw green paint at the base of the statue,” Litterst told WNYW. “Same material. Paint on marble is very difficult to remove. Like we expect here – that one took multiple treatments over a couple of weeks. But ultimately, it was entirely successful.”

The NPS said on Wednesday that a week of sunlight will also “help return the monument to its usual impressive state,” ABC News reported.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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