The Washington Monument was vandalized in the US capital on Tuesday, with an unnamed suspect quickly arrested after he allegedly splattered blood-red paint and scribbled a provocative question on the landmark, according to the New York Post.
“Have you been fucked by this,” reads the message at the base of the monument, with an arrow pointing up. “The government is saying some tough shit.”
The vandalism happened around 7:30 p.m. Sgt. Thomas Twiname, a public information officer for the US Park Police, told USA Today. law enforcement agency issued an alert on Twitter about an hour later, indicating that an adult male had been apprehended.
It remains unclear whether the suspect is currently facing criminal charges, according to NBC News.
“The area at the base of the monument will be temporarily closed,” park police said in a statement obtained by ABC News, without further details on when it will reopen.
The monument itself was completed in 1884, when the 555-foot structure became the tallest in the world. He kept this record for five years, until the Eiffel Tower in Paris was completed. The Washington Monument nevertheless attracts more than 600,000 annual visitors.
“At dawn, our monument preservation team got to work on the Washington Monument,” said the National Park Service’s National Mall Unit. tweeted Wednesday. “The top layer of paint will peel off and the pigment that has seeped into the stone will be dealt with with many rounds of cleaning product applications.”
This is not the first time that the monument has been restored. The first case, which occurred a year after the National Park Service gained jurisdiction over the structure in 1933, was part of public works efforts to reduce unemployment following the Great Depression by hiring workers to build new infrastructure.
Further restorations took place in 1964, as well as from 1998 to 2001 and from 2011 to 2014. Further work was carried out from 2016 to 2019 to install a safer and more modern lift.