Crews Finish Green Paint Cleanup at Lincoln Memorial

The work to remove green paint splattered at the Lincoln Memorial three weeks ago was completed Friday, a National Park Service spokesperson told News4.

The paint was discovered early July 26 on the base of the Abraham Lincoln statue and on the statue itself. Removal had proven difficult due to the porousness of the marble.

While most of the paint was removed the day it was discovered, crews had to make several attempts to remove the last stubborn traces of paint. Darker pigment was left on the statue's left foot, left leg and chair arm. The paint was splattered with flecks of color from the mid-chest of the statue down to the floor.

National Park Service spokesperson Carol Johnson said the final treatment to remove the paint was conducted Friday morning. The scaffolding around the memorial is expected to come down later in the day, she said.

Conservators had hoped two weeks ago that a fourth cleaning process would remove the last signs of the vandalism, but the effort was unsuccessful.

The Lincoln Memorial was one of four local landmarks -- including the National Cathedral -- to be vandalized with green paint last month.

Jiamei Tian, 58, was arrested July 29 in connection with the vandalism at the National Cathedral. She had a soda can containing green paint at the time of her arrest, authorities said.

She since has been released to a halfway house.

They're also looking into whether Tian splattered paint at the Lincoln Memorial, a Logan Circle church and a statue outside the Smithsonian Castle on the National Mall.

The Lincoln Memorial is the last of the vandalized locations to have its cleaning completed, although the Luther Place Memorial Church in Logan Circle had to deconstruct its organ and send the pipes to Georgia for a professional cleaning.

At the National Cathedral, restoration crews worked for days to remove the paint from an organ and from delicate woodwork and statues. 


Copyright AP - Associated Press
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