Cleanup of Lincoln Memorial completed

WASHINGTON -- Cleaning and preservation crews have finished removing green paint that was splashed on the iconic statue inside the Lincoln Memorial three weeks ago, the National Park Service announced.

The vandalism was discovered on July 26 after someone threw grew paint onto the giant gleaming seated sculpture of Abraham Lincoln, staining parts of the chest down to the base.

Most of the paint was removed with a power wash that same day, but traces remained on the porous marble through several further cleaning attempts.

Carol Johnson, a spokeswoman for the Park Service, said Friday that a treatment was applied during the night to remove the final flecks of paint, and that the scaffolding and plastic sheeting that surrounded the statue has been taken down.

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The Lincoln Memorial was the first of several Washington landmarks that was vandalized last month.

Green paint also was splattered on two chapels in the National Cathedral, on a statue of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in downtown Washington, and on a statue outside the Smithsonian Castle on the National Mall.

The D.C. Metropolitan Police have charged Jiamei Tian, 58, with defacing the National Cathedral. Tian, a Chinese citizen with an expired U.S. visa, had a soda can containing green paint at the time of her arrest, police said. Authorities are still investigating whether she is behind the other attacks.

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