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Lincoln Memorial Closed After Being Splattered With Paint

A police officer stands near the statue of the 16th president at the Lincoln Memorial, which was splattered with paint Friday morning.
Shawn Thew
/
EPA/LANDOV
A police officer stands near the statue of the 16th president at the Lincoln Memorial, which was splattered with paint Friday morning.

"The chamber of the Lincoln Memorial is shut down Friday morning because of vandalism. U.S. Park Police tell WTOP the Lincoln statue and the floor inside the memorial was splattered with green paint," the radio station reported. "They think the vandalism occurred at about 1:30 a.m."

According to WUSA-TV, "there is no estimate on how long the memorial will be closed to the public." Police will be studying surveillance video. The memorial is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Click here for the National Park Service's "virtual" tour of the memorial, which sits at the west end of the National Mall in Washington, D.C. It is, of course, the site of many historic gatherings — perhaps most notably the 1963 "I Have a Dream" speech by Martin Luther King Jr.

Update at 1:36 p.m. ET. Memorial Reopens:

NBC Washington reports that the Lincoln Memorial has reopened to the public.

"The memorial was closed for nearly 12 hours while U.S. Park Police investigated the act of vandalism and National Park Service maintenance crews cleaned up the mess," NBC Washington reports.

Update at 10 a.m. ET. Crews Are Cleaning:

WAMU's Armando Trull reports from the memorial that "U.S. Park Police are reviewing surveillance footage from nearby cameras. Half a dozen police officers have also been reviewing the scene. Crews have brought in power washers to clean the paint off of the memorial."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.