Lincoln Memorial vandalized with ‘Free Gaza’ graffiti
The Lincoln Memorial, in Washington, DC. The Abraham Lincoln statue is well lit, inside. (Photo: Trevor Carpenter)

By Jacob Gurvis
December 21, 2023

(JTA) — The Lincoln Memorial closed temporarily on Wednesday after its steps were vandalized with graffiti reading “Free Gaza” in multiple places.

U.S. Park Police are investigating the graffiti, which was discovered Wednesday morning at the Washington, D.C. monument, according to ABC News. Crews were dispatched  to clean up the vandalism. The steps of the memorial were splattered with red paint and pro-Palestinian messages, which the National Park Service said could take some time to complete.

“National Park Service conservators have begun the process of removing the paint this morning, though it may take multiple treatments over several days to remove all of it,” spokesperson Mike Litterst said Wednesday.

By the evening, according to a local Fox affiliate, most of the paint was removed. One more treatment of the graffiti was scheduled for Thursday morning.

Images from the scene show that the words “Free Palestine” and another message that includes the phrase “land back” were spray-painted at the base of the memorial near the reflecting pool.

Last month, protestors spray-painted “Free Palestine” on several statutes at Lafayette Square, a park near the White House.

Jewish sites in the United States and across the world have been hit with antisemitic and anti-Israel graffiti since the war between Israel and Hamas began on Oct. 7. The targets have included several synagogues, the New York office of a Jewish member of Congress and London’s Holocaust library.

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