Green paint found on Smithsonian statue, organ at National Cathedral

According to The Washington Post, green paint was found Monday defacing a statue outside the Smithsonian Castle on the National Mall and poured atop an organ in a chapel at the Washington National Cathedral, just three days after the Lincoln Memorial was vandalized in a similar manner.

D.C. police have now joined the U.S. Park Police in the investigation, but authorities said they do not know if any of the incidents are related.

The Cathedral’s historic Bethlehem Chapel — the oldest part of the church built in 1912 and the site of Woodrow Wilson’s funeral in 1924 — was closed to the public Monday afternoon as D.C. police searched the building. The main cathedral remained open to the public.

A spokeswoman for the Smithsonian said a statue of Joseph Henry was found Monday morning with green symbols painted on its granite base. The bronze statue of the museum’s first secretary, who died in the building in 1878, when it served as the Smithsonian’s headquarters, appeared to be spared.

About 2 p.m., Richard Weinberg, the cathedral’s spokesman, said a member of the music staff found green paint on an organ installed in the Bethlehem Chapel in the 1950s. Weinberg said it appears that the paint can be removed.

Weinberg said the paint was wet when it was found, leading him to believe it had occurred moments before it was discovered.

Police have not made any arrests. A spokeswoman for the National Park Service said work to remove the paint on the Lincoln Memorial is about 90 percent complete; scaffolding has been installed around the damaged area to help keep workers safe.

No arrests have been made.

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