Lincoln Memorial Vandalized: What Happened And When Will It Reopen? [PHOTOS]

Lincoln Memorial Vandalized
The Lincoln Memorial is currently closed after being vandalized just hours ago. Above: Watkins Elementary School students gather at the base of the Lincoln Memorial in 2012. Reuters

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Former U.S. President Abraham Lincoln’s iconic memorial was vandalized this week, an attack which has resulted in the temporary closure of the monument Friday despite its popularity among tourists and locals who frequent the popular Washington D.C. landmark.

The memorial's vandalization consisted of green paint thrown across the floor and base of the inner chamber portion of public memorial according to a report from NBC Washington. A tourist was reportedly the first to discover the desecration early Friday morning at around 1:30 a.m. before contacting police.

Authorities are unsure of the person(s) responsible for the vandalization and are currently reviewing surveillance footage. Capt. Steven Booker revealed to Fox News that the act is being considered intentional “based off of the splatter.”

The National Mall-based memorial, although currently closed to visitors, is expected to reopen after a cleaning from the National Park Service according to a rep from the U.S. Park Police. An exact date of reopening is currently unknown but maintenance crews are expected to arrive on scene as early as Friday morning. The location is currently being secured with yellow police tape.

The U.S. Park Police told The Washington Post that the vandalization did not include words or symbols and that no other nearby memorials had been damaged.

“To me, it's defacing America,” Scott Arndt, a frequent Lincoln Memorial jogger, told NBC Washington. “It's not just defacing the Lincoln Memorial, but it's something against all of America." Another jogger, Keith Gillespie, agreed, calling the act a “black mark on our country.”

The Lincoln Memorial, an American national monument, was erected in 1922 to pay tribute to America's 16th President, Abraham Lincoln. It is located across from the Washington Monument and just short of two miles from The White House.

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