WASHINGTON — The Lincoln Memorial was temporarily closed today after someone splattered a splash of green paint on the statue.
The apparent vandalism was discovered around 1:30 a.m. today on the statue, the pedestal and the floor, U.S. Park Police said. No words, letters or symbols were visible in the paint.
Capt. Steven Booker said the paint spill “appears intentional based off of the splatter.” Police are reviewing security camera footage to try to identify possible suspects, he said. No suspects had been identified today.
The memorial will be closed until the National Park Service maintenance crew can clean up the paint, which is expected to happen later today.
National Park Service spokeswoman Carol Johnson said the memorial will be returned to the condition it was in before the vandalism.
“It is not permanent damage,” she said. “Our historic preservation crew knows exactly what they need to do.”
The process of removing the paint was expected to last throughout much of the day, Johnson said.
The memorial, one of the most popular sites on the National Mall, was dedicated in 1922 to the nation’s 16th president. The building was designed by Henry Bacon, and Daniel French sculpted the statue of Lincoln. It sits at the opposite end of the National Mall from the Capitol, facing the monument to George Washington.
The memorial has served as a symbol of equality and reunification after the Civil War. It was the site of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s March on Washington, along with other historic moments.
The Lincoln Memorial is generally open around the clock to visitors. Park Rangers, however, leave their posts about 10 p.m. and return about 9 a.m. daily.