Man Arrested After Defacing Washington Monument with Bizarre Message That Will Require Lengthy Removal Process

One person has been arrested after the Washington Monument was vandalized Tuesday night.

The base of the iconic monument was splashed with red paint, according to images of the vandalism posted on Twitter.

The arrest took place around 8 p.m. Tuesday. No motive has been given.

The images showed one splash of paint along with the words “Have u been f***** by this” accompanied by an arrow pointing upwards. The rest of the red-painted text said, “Gov says tough s***.”


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Mike Litterst, a spokesman for the National Park Service, said cleanup could take two to three weeks, according to WTOP.

Litterst said that marble, being porous, could have absorbed some of the paint, which would mean multiple treatments are required to get rid of all traces of the red.

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Cleanup efforts had already begun Wednesday, according to the National Park Service.

The park police noted that the area around the base of the monument will be temporarily closed.


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The person arrested will face trespassing, tampering and vandalism charges, according to WTTG.

As of Wednesday morning, the name of the person arrested had not been released.

“Anytime anyone vandalizes or defaces one of our memorials — disheartening is the immediate word that comes to mind,” Litterst said, WTTG reported.

“We’re fortunate to have a crew on staff that can take care of that and look forward to getting the monument back to its normal appearance very quickly.”

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