Vandals splatter Lincoln Memorial with green paint
July 26, 2013 -- Updated 1647 GMT (0047 HKT)
- Paint is splattered on a leg and base of the 19-foot Abraham Lincoln statue, police say
- The Lincoln Memorial is closed until the paint can be cleaned up
- No timeframe of the closure is given
Washington (CNN) -- Officials are hopeful that the chamber containing the Lincoln statue at the Lincoln Memorial, which was vandalized overnight, can be reopened sometime Friday, National Park Service spokeswoman Carol Johnson told reporters.
The memorial's portico -- the columned area outside the chamber -- should be reopen before that, in the late morning, she said.
Workers are cleaning the paint that had been splashed onto part of the marble statue, she said.
Watch: Obama surprises visitors at the Lincoln Memorial
Vandals splashed green paint on the base of the statue overnight, prompting officials to temporarily close the marble fixture on Washington's National Mall, authorities said.
Police were alerted just before 1:30 a.m. and found paint splattered on the leg and base of the 19-foot-tall statue of Abraham Lincoln, U.S. Park Police Capt. Steven Booker told CNN on Friday. There were no discernible letters or markings.
The memorial will be closed until it is cleaned up, Booker said.
A U.S. Park Police officer stands guard next to the vandalized statue of Abraham Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on Friday, July 26. The memorial was closed to visitors after someone splattered green paint on the statue and the floor area.
Photos: Lincoln Memorial through the years
The memorial, one of the more iconic features of Washington, honors the 16th U.S. president. The marble statue of a seated Lincoln resides in nearly 100-foot-high columned marble building facing the U.S. Capitol and the Washington Monument.
More than 6 million people visited the Lincoln Memorial in 2012, the National Park Service says.
Dedicated in 1922, it has been the site of a number of protests and gatherings, including the 1963 March on Washington, during which Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous "I Have a Dream" speech from the steps of the memorial.
See also: Controversial MLK Memorial inscription to be removed
CNN's Diane Ruggiero and Jason Hanna contributed to this report.
Part of complete coverage on
December 12, 2013 -- Updated 1531 GMT (2331 HKT)
The sign language interpreter widely ridiculed for his performance at the Nelson Mandela memorial stands by his work.
December 12, 2013 -- Updated 1456 GMT (2256 HKT)
Behind the scenes in Cambodian karaoke bars -- a common front for child prostitution.
December 12, 2013 -- Updated 0446 GMT (1246 HKT)
A global risk firm surveys the most politically explosive countries.
December 12, 2013 -- Updated 1258 GMT (2058 HKT)
It's the battle of the tech titans. No, not Apple versus Samsung. Sony has gone head-to-head with Microsoft.
Keep up to date with stories from Europe's biggest tech conference.
December 12, 2013 -- Updated 1509 GMT (2309 HKT)
On Tuesday, I was free. On Wednesday, I became a criminal. India's high court just made being gay illegal, writes Tushar Malik.
December 12, 2013 -- Updated 1046 GMT (1846 HKT)
A Japanese actor says playing villians in Chinese films has helped the China-Japan divide. CNN's Ivan Watson reports.
December 12, 2013 -- Updated 1612 GMT (0012 HKT)
New skyscraper-sized gas plant is the biggest thing on the waves.
December 11, 2013 -- Updated 1524 GMT (2324 HKT)
Pope Francis is Time's person of the year. His papacy has drawn adulation from people around the world for his man-of-the-people ways.
He was imprisoned for life but that did not quiet him. Nelson Mandela became South Africa's first black president, and an icon and inspiration.
December 12, 2013 -- Updated 1205 GMT (2005 HKT)
Turning 50 is a major milestone in a person's life -- and a country's history.
December 12, 2013 -- Updated 1636 GMT (0036 HKT)
Browse through images you don't always see in news reports, taken by CNN teams all around the world.
Today's five most popular stories