graffiti appeared to read "fuck law" spray painted in red on a
column of the memorial to Abraham Lincoln, the American
president who signed the Emancipation Proclamation freeing
slaves in the United States.
The National Park Service said in a statement that it was
removing the graffiti from the monument and a Smithsonian
Institution directional sign blocks away that was also
vandalized with spray paint.
The U.S. Park Police said in the statement that they were
The graffiti marks the second time this year that the Lincoln
Memorial, one of Washington, D.C.'s major tourist attractions,
was defaced. In February, the monument to Lincoln, the
Washington Monument and the World War II Memorial, were
vandalized with a marker pen.
The Park Service said that a monument preservation crew was
removing the graffiti at the Lincoln Memorial on Tuesday using a
mild paint stripper.
A Park Service photo showed the graffiti on a column of the
memorial, and Twitter erupted with opinions on whether it said
"law" or "Islam."
"Could the person who defaced the Lincoln Memorial please come
back and write more clearly so we know who to be mad at," comedy
writer Chase Mitchell wrote on Twitter.
Lincoln was president during the 1861-65 Civil War, and the
vandalism was found days after deadly weekend violence at a
far-right rally at a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee
in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The unrest has intensified a national debate over whether
monuments to the pro-slavery Confederacy are symbols of heritage
(Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Marcy
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