Man painted vulgar message on Washington Monument, officials say. He’s been arrested

A man has been arrested after defacing the Washington Monument, according to officials.

The United States Park Police sent out an alert shortly after 8:00 pm on Tuesday, Sept. 20, saying they had taken a man into custody related to vandalism.

Vandals have defaced the Washington Monument tonight. One reportedly in custody. pic.twitter.com/b4pDINyFta

— Andrew Leyden (@PenguinSix) September 21, 2022

A 44-year-old from Bloomington, Indiana, was charged with trespassing, tampering and vandalism, according to a Park Police release.

According to photos taken at the scene, the message scrawled in red paint at the base of the obelisk said, “Have you been f–ked by this,” followed by an arrow pointing up at the monument. “Gov says tough sh-t.”

Monument Preservation crew got to work on the Washington Monument, after it was defaced with red paint (National Mall NPS/Twitter)

National Park Service conservators began work on restoring the monument on Wednesday, Sept. 21, according to officials.

“The top layer of paint is coming off and the pigment that seeped into the stone will be treated with many rounds of cleaning product application,” officials said.

“A week of sunlight will also help return the monument to its usual impressive state,” the NPS wrote on Twitter. “Thanks to our expert team for their hard work.”

Monument Preservation crew got to work on the Washington Monument, after it was defaced with red paint (National Mall NPS/Twitter)

There may be more charges as the investigation continues, according to the U.S. Park Police.

The Washington Monument was completed in 1884 and is recognized as the world’s tallest obelisk and the world’s tallest, unreinforced stone structure.

The Lincoln Memorial, located nearby, was vandalized with green paint in 2013, according to the Washington Post.


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