RELIGION
08/02/2013 10:24 am ET Updated Aug 02, 2013

Washington National Cathedral Launches Fundraising Campaign After Green Paint Vandalism

WASHINGTON -- The National Cathedral is asking for help, after an organ and two chapels were vandalized with green paint on Monday.

On its website, the cathedral says the damage was "unexpected and heartbreaking" -- and has just added to the millions of dollars in repairs that were already necessary, after a 5.8 magnitude earthquake caused extensive damage, not covered by insurance, in 2011:

This is not the first time the Cathedral has been damaged in recent years. A little under two years ago, a magnitude 5.8 earthquake struck the East Coast and caused $20 million of damage to the Cathedral. Even two years later, evidence of this quake can still be seen in the scaffolding, netting, and constant construction that surrounds the Cathedral.

Monday's vandalism is yet another example of the Cathedral's need for support. This national landmark stands as a symbol of faith in our nation's capital.

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National Cathedral Vandalized With Green Paint
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National Cathedral Vandalized With Green Paint

Cathedral staff told WJLA that most of the paint had been removed from the Children's Chapel within a day, but that the Bethlehem Chapel, where an organ was vandalized, was proving more difficult to clean:

Crews are having a harder time removing the paint from the Bethlehem Chapel. Paint has been removed from the slate flooring and the organ pipes, as well as the organ console keys.

Removing the paint from the decorative wood carving of the organ case is taking crews longer than they expected. Once they remove the paint, they will need to touch up the staining and finish to match the chapel's woodwork.

Jia M. Tian -- a 58-year-old woman previously identified as Jiamei Tian -- was arrested at the cathedral on Monday. According to the AP, authorities believe Tian, traveling on a Chinese passport and with an expired visa, is responsible for a spate of vandalism in the nation's capital, all involving paint, some mixing paint with feces.

National Park Service officials said that parts of the Lincoln Memorial, discovered to have paint on it last Friday morning, are still showing stains -- especially Lincoln's right foot, left leg and part of his chair's arm. A statue outside the Smithsonian Castle was also damaged, as was a statue of Martin Luther outside a D.C. church.

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Lincoln Memorial Vandalized With Green Paint
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Lincoln Memorial Vandalized With Green Paint

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