A vandal spray painted the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, on Tuesday, the National Park Service (NPS) says.
The words “[expletive] law” sprayed in red paint can be seen on a column of the monument in a photo provided by NPS.
The graffiti was found at 4:30 a.m. on Tuesday, NBC reported.
Silver spray paint was also found on a Smithsonian wayfinding sign on Constitution Avenue.
Preservation crews are working to remove the paint. The specialists are using a “mild, gel-type architectural paint stripper” to take off the paint safely, according to NBC Washington.
The Lincoln Memorial has been a major tourist attraction since 1930. It has special symbolism for race-related issues. Martin Luther King Jr delivered the timeless “I Have a Dream” speech from the steps of the memorial on Aug. 28, 1963.
On Monday, vandals toppled a Confederate statue in Durham, North Carolina. Police did not make any arrests at the time, but are now looking to identify the people responsible to press criminal charges.
Late on Saturday night, a Confederate statue was vandalized with orange paint in Kentucky. City workers started cleaning the statue dedicated to Confederate soldier John B. Castleman on Monday.
The Kentucky and North Carolina incidents were trigered by violence in Charlottesville, Va., on Saturday. People protesting the removal of a Confederate statue there, including extremist white supremacists, clashed with armed and violent members of the Antifa extremist group.
Earlier this year, a vandal wrote on the Lincoln Memorial, World War II Memorial, the D.C. War Memorial and the Washington Monument with a permanent marker. The vandal’s scribblings appeared to to refer to various conspiracy theories.
A U.S. serviceman who visited the Lincoln Memorial in February was offended by the vandalism.
“I served the greatest air force in the world, but to come here to see that is like a slap in our face,” he said.
One of the most significant cases of vandalism of a national monument occurred in 2013. A woman splashed green paint on the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington National Cathedral
Police arrested the woman, but she was found incompetent to stand trial.
Restoration crews took almost a month to remove the green paint at the time.