Lincoln Memorial vandalized

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WVLT/CBS) -- Green paint was splattered overnight on parts of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., U.S. Park police say.

They say a patrol officer found green paint splashed on the floor near the famous statue of President Lincoln, and some on the base of the statue, at around 1:20 a.m. local time. No messages were written, according to the National Park Service.

The memorial, on the National Mall, will be closed until the National Park Service can clean it up. The NPS said that they are using citrus-based cleaners and power washers to clean the paint.

NPS spokeswoman Carol Johnson said the paint used to vandalize the Lincoln Memorial "is not permanent...it can be cleaned," adding she's "hopeful" the whole monument can reopen to the public sometime on Friday.

An investigation is under way.

"It breaks my heart that somebody would do this," Johnson said. "This is devastating to us."

CBS Washington affiliate WUSA-TV says its crew members got as close as they could to the statue and didn't see the paint, but saw evidence of the Park Service activity.

The station says investigators will review video from surveillance cameras to help determine who carried out the vandalism.


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