WASHINGTON D.C. -- Police in Washington, D.C., have charged a 58-year-old woman with defacing property at Washington National Cathedral with green paint and have questioned her about similar vandalism last week at the Lincoln Memorial and Smithsonian Castle.
Police are also testing paint samples at the three locations to determine whether the three incidents are connected.
Jiamei Tianh, who police officials say has no fixed address, was charged Monday afternoon and jailed.
U.S. Park Police investigators, who oversee the federal monuments, were questioning her Monday night, The Washington Post reported. Two police officials told the newspaper that federal police had been seeking an Asian female who was possibly homeless.
Officials said that green paint at the National Cathedral was found spattered on the pipe organ console and casework. The paint was still wet when they discovered it. A second chapel, the Children's Chapel at the Cathedral was also vandalized, WUSA-TV reported.
The National Cathedral said in a statement that the Bethlehem Chapel, where the organ vandalism occurred, is in its lower level. It is the oldest portion of the Cathedral and was the site of the burial rites for President Wilson in 1924.
Cathedral spokesman Richard Weinberg said a cleanup crew was working Monday night. Paint removal and repair could cost around $15,000.
Crews at the Lincoln Memorial have removed 90% of the paint that was splattered at the site on Friday, a National Park Service spokesperson said. The cleanup began with the gentlest methods possible. "Incrementally stronger products" will be used until all traces of the paint are gone, the spokesperson said.
The Smithsonian vandalism on the National Mall involved a statue of Joseph Henry, the first secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. It also occurred on Friday, according to Park Police.
The granite base of the statue was painted with a series of unintelligible symbols. It wasn't clear exactly when the vandalism occurred.
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