A man was arrested for vandalizing the Washington Monument on Tuesday (September 20) night. The suspect, identified as 44-year-old Shaun Ray, allegedly splashed red paint on the base of the monument and wrote a profane message: “Have you been f*****by this [Up Arrow] Gov says tough s***.”
Ray is facing charges of trespassing, tampering, and vandalism.
The United States Park Police said that the monument would be temporarily closed while workers clean off the paint.
National Parks Service Spokesperson Mike Litterst said it could take up to three weeks to remove all of the paint.
“It’s very similar to the vandalism at the Lincoln Memorial in 2008 when a woman threw green paint at the base of the statue,” Litterst said, according to WTTG. “Same material, paint on marble is very difficult to remove. Like we expect here – that one took multiple treatments over a couple of weeks. But ultimately, it was entirely successful.”
The National Parks Service shared photos on Twitter of crews cleaning the paint off.
“At first light, our Monument Preservation crew got to work on the Washington Monument, after it was defaced with red paint last night. The top layer of paint is coming off and the pigment that seeped into the stone will be treated with many rounds of cleaning product application,” the agency tweeted.
“A week of sunlight will also help return the monument to its usual impressive state. Thanks to our expert team for their hard work.”