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7 arrested in vandalism of George Washington statue near L.A. City Hall

A vandalized statue is wrapped in a brown tarp in Grand Park Friday.
A vandalized statue is wrapped in a brown tarp in Grand Park Friday.
(Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times)

Seven individuals were arrested Thursday night in the vandalism of a statue of George Washington in downtown’s Grand Park, Los Angeles police said.

No further details of the arrests were available, police said. Footage from CBS shows the statue toppled over, with red paint smeared on its hands and face and the anarchy symbol tagged on the base of the statue.

The incident followed a small protest at the park across from City Hall on Hill Street between Temple and 1st streets, according to media reports.

Protests over landmarks and spaces dedicated to public figures with troubled histories have emerged in recent months following the killing of George Floyd, who died after a Minneapolis police officer pinned him at the neck for more than eight minutes. President Washington’s history as a slave owner has been the subject of protests in various cities.

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A vandalized statue is wrapped in a brown tarp in Grand Park in downtown Los Angeles.
(Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times)

The statue that was vandalized in Los Angeles is a bronze copy of a statue that was placed in the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond in 1796. The original was created in Paris, and about 30 copies were created in the late 19th century, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture.

The statue that has stood in Grand Park for 87 years was obtained by the Women’s Community Service and presented to the county on February 22, 1933 -- Washington’s birthday.


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