A famous historic monument in a national park in New Hampshire was defaced with anti-Semitic graffiti that may not be easily removable.
National Park Service law enforcement agents and New Hampshire State Police are looking for information on who was behind the vandalism of the monument atop the mausoleum where the family of Augustus Saint-Gaudens were interred at Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park in Cornish, Valley News reported.
The monument was defaced with paint, permanent market, pink letter Cs on two of its Greco-Roman-style columns, horizontal lines on its steps and anti-Semitic phrases and symbols, including “Heil Hitler” and swastikas.
The Saint-Gaudens family were not Jewish, and it is not known if the site was targeted or randomly defaced. Authorities are also looking into the meaning of the letter C.
The Saint-Gaudens family spend their summers in Cornish in the late 19th century. They eventually formed the Cornish Art Colony.
The monument is constructed of Vermont Marble which is very difficult to clean of graffiti.
John Dryfhout, a former superintendent of the park, said the classical Greek mausoleum was a strange site for vandalism.
“It’s a very sad thing,” [The] level of culture in the U.S. has really deteriorated,” he said.
Rainey McKenna, a park spokesperson, told the news outlet: “We are already working with National Park Service conservators to carefully restore the monument.”
It was not known how much restoration work would cost but so far restorators have been able to remove most of the pink paint, and will next focus on removing the rest of the graffiti.
“Vandalism of this type is very difficult to remove and can be very costly. It’s “not always possible to restore it to its original state.”