A woman has been arrested for splattering green paint on an organ and walls of the National Cathedral, and police are investigating whether she was also responsible for similar vandalism at the Lincoln Memorial last week.
The woman is 58-year-old Tian Jiamel. She was picked up near the National Cathedral Sunday and charged with defacing property after detectives found the green paint splattered inside. Part of the children’s chapel was also vandalized. Worshipers discovered the scene after the church’s noon service Sunday.
Authorities are now investigating whether or not recent acts of National Mall vandalism are linked to Jiamel as well. Green paint was also found at the base of a statue of Martin Luther next to the Smithsonian Castle, and the Lincoln Memorial was splattered with green paint last week.
“Detectives are investigating whether the suspect may have been involved in similar offenses,” authorities said in a statement released Monday.
The Lincoln Memorial was closed for nearly 12 hours while maintenance crews cleaned up the vandalism. A similar case was discovered on Monday at a statue memorializing Joseph Henry, the first secretary of the Smithsonian Institution and the Luther Place Memorial Church at Thomas Circle.
Currently, Smithsonian crews are working hard to remove the paint from the statue of Joseph Henry.
“We have to find a product that will not damage the protective coating,” said Smithsonian spokeswoman Linda St. Thomas.
We’ll keep you updated as to whether Tian Jiamel is the sole National Mall vandal and what her motives may be as soon as more information comes out. But let us know in the comments what you think should be done about the Lincoln Memorial vandal.