WASHINGTON -- Three days after green paint was discovered on the Lincoln Memorial, a vandal or vandals have hit two more D.C. landmarks with similar attacks.
On Monday afternoon, the AP reported that Jiamei Tian was arrested in one of the new incidents -- this one involving the National Cathedral, where wet green paint was found on an organ in a chapel.
Richard Weinberg, the cathedral’s spokesman, told The Washington Post that it appears the paint -- inside the cathedral's historic Bethlehem Chapel -- can be removed, for a cost of about $15,000. Paint was also found in the cathedral's Children's Chapel.
— cdorobek (@cdorobek) July 29, 2013
First on CNN: Photos of the green paint splatter on the Bethlehem Chapel at the Washington National Cathedral. pic.twitter.com/4h71rE691E
— Dan Merica (@danmericaCNN) July 29, 2013
Green paint was also found on a statue across from the Smithsonian Castle. According to NBC Washington, it's not clear when the front and back pedestal of the Joseph Henry statue was defaced with what has been described as indecipherable symbols.
— Mark Segraves (@SegravesNBC4) July 29, 2013
U.S. Park Police spokesperson Sgt. Paul Brooks told the AP that it appeared something had been drawn on the defaced statue -- which commemorates the first Smithsonian secretary, a physicist who, according to the museum website, died in his Smithsonian quarters in 1878 -- and that police are investigating.
On Twitter, speculation abounds -- by the actor Jim Carrey and others -- about the motives of the so-called green paint bandit:
Green paint on Lincoln memorial. Ppl are getting tired of corporate tyranny disguised as democracy. ;^\ http://t.co/jM0wMj7E4h
— Jim Carrey (@JimCarrey) July 26, 2013
Someone spraying green paint on national monuments? Must be that dreaded #TeaParty. Right, Brian Ross?
— Tabitha Beaman (@tabithabeaman) July 29, 2013
A Smithsonian spokesperson told NBC Washington that the institution expects to be able to remove the paint within days. Work continues on cleaning the Lincoln Memorial, which reopened to the public on Friday evening.
Police and cathedral officials told the AP that Tian, 58 and believed by police to be homeless, was charged with defacing property. Police hope to question the arrestee about any connection between the vandalism at the National Cathedral and the two other D.C. landmarks defaced with green paint, but are are reportedly constrained by language barriers.
Update, July 30, 2:00 p.m.: D.C.'s police chief, Cathy Lanier, has said that the incidents of green paint vandalism "appear to be" connected. In the now fourth reported green paint attack -- a statue of Martin Luther, outside D.C.'s Luther Place Memorial Church at Thomas Circle -- the paint was reportedly mixed with feces.
This story has been updated with the report of an arrest in the green paint vandalism at the National Cathedral, and again with the name of the person arrested. This is a developing story...
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