Graffiti Spotted in Boston Similar to Messages Written on National Monuments | NECN
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Graffiti Spotted in Boston Similar to Messages Written on National Monuments

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    U.S. Park Police are looking for whoever vandalized memorials along the National Mall over the weekend. They say the messages seem to be written in black Sharpie or a marker. News4's Chris Gordon asked tourists how the vandalism affected their visit.

    (Published Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017)

    Days after several war memorials and national monuments were vandalized with strange messages in D.C., similar graffiti has been spotted on landmarks in Boston.

    The World War II Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, the D.C. War Memorial and the Washington Monument were vandalized with permanent marker over Presidents Day weekend. Similar graffiti appeared on street signs and utility boxes along the National Mall, according to NPS.

    The peculiar graffiti said: "Jackie shot JFK;" "blood test is a lie, leukemia, cancer HIV get a 2nd opinion;" and "In mexico."

    On Thursday, WTOP reported similar graffiti had popped up in Boston. 

    Richard Rudnickas, a photographer, told News4 he spotted what appears to be the same message near the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum. He said he took the above photo on Thursday, but the vandalism had been there all week.

    United States Park Police said it aware of the vandalism in Boston, which some people posted on social media. USPP is working with the Boston Police Department to investigate.

    One U.S. serviceman who took his family to the Lincoln Memorial Tuesday said he takes the vandalism personally.

    "I served the greatest air force in the world, but to come here to see that is like a slap in our face," Kevin Hall said.

    Crews worked to remove the graffiti which was reported by a visitor at 1 a.m. on Sunday. It appeared at the Lincoln Memorial about 11 p.m. Saturday.

    Authorities believe the same person is behind all the graffiti in D.C., but haven't ruled out others were involved, said Mike Litterst of the National Park Service.

    "The similarity of what's written and you know, the handwriting style," he said.

    Defacing a national monument or memorial is rare but not unheard of. The most significant case in recent memory was a bizarre incident in 2013, when a woman threw green paint on the Lincoln Memorial and later at the Washington National Cathedral. She was arrested but later found incompetent to stand trial.

    In that case, it took crews nearly a month to clear the green paint from the Lincoln Memorial, but NPS staff are skilled in the tricky removal process of graffiti removal, Litterst said.

    The staff used a pressure washer and solvent, safe for historic stone, to remove the graffiti. The Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument and World War II Memorial were cleaned Tuesday. Cleaning at other locations will continue this week.

    "Something like marble, which is more porous than granite, may have a different way to take it off," he said. "Sometimes it takes multiple cleaning and cleansings to get it to come out, but of course, in the course of getting it off... we don't want to do any further damage to the stone."

    U.S. Park Police are reviewing surveillance camera footage from the locations. 

    The memorials had more visitors than usual over the weekend due to unseasonably warm temperatures.