Green Paint Found at National Cathedral, Smithsonian Statue, Luther Place Memorial Church

58-year-old Tian Jiamel arrested for defacing property in National Cathedral vandalism

Tuesday, Jul 30, 2013  |  Updated 9:24 AM PDT
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The woman arrested for vandalizing the National Cathedral Monday is a person of interest in last week's vandalism of the Lincoln Memorial, sources told NBCWashington.

The woman arrested for vandalizing the National Cathedral Monday is a person of interest in last week's vandalism of the Lincoln Memorial, sources told NBCWashington.

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Woman Arrested for National Cathedral Vandalism

Sources told News4 Washington the woman arrested for vandalizing the National Cathedral Monday is a person of interest in the vandalism of the Lincoln Memorial last week.

Arrest Made in National Cathedral Vandalism

News4's Mark Segraves and Shomari Stone have the latest details in a series of vandalism cases around the District during the few days, including an arrest in the vandalism of the National Cathedral.
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The woman arrested for vandalizing the National Cathedral Monday is a person of interest in last week's vandalism of the Lincoln Memorial, sources told NBCWashington.

Jiamei Tian, 58, was arrested Monday afternoon after allegedly covering the National Cathedral's organ with green paint. Areas of the Children's Chapel on the main level are also covered with the paint.

Tian, of no fixed address, is due in court Tuesday afternoon. She is charged with defacing property.

The cathedral reopened to the public Monday evening, but the Children's Chapel remained closed as crews repaired the damage.

She was arrested Monday after she was found in the Children's Chapel at the National Cathedral.

Tian was found with paint on her clothing and hands, and a container of paint in one of her bags, according to court documents. She got loud during the arrest but did not resist.

"Well, hopefully she can get the help she needs, so she can stop doing this," said a visitor to the cathedral Tuesday.

The cathedral is one of four Washington landmarks vandalized with green paint in recent days, NBCWashington has learned.

On Friday, paint was found splattered at the Lincoln Memorial

"I have no idea who would want to do something like that," said jogger Scott Arndt, who was out on his morning run the morning the vandalism was discovered. "To me, it's defacing America. It's not just defacing the Lincoln Memorial, but it's something against all of America."

Workers are still attempting to remove the paint without damaging the marble.

A similar green paint was also discovered at the Luther Place Memorial Church at Thomas Circle and on a statue memorializing Joseph Henry, the first secretary of the Smithsonian Institution.

At the church, the paint was found in several places: on a statue of Martin Luther, on the exterior of the building, and on an organ inside. The damage was discovered Sunday after the church's noon service. Witnesses told News4 the woman they saw at the church Sunday matches the description of Tian.

In the Smithsonian incident, paint was found Monday on the front and back of the pedestal of the Joseph Henry statue. That statue is located outside the Smithsonian castle, near the merry-go-round on the National Mall.

While the paint at the Lincoln Memorial was splattered on, the paint on the Henry statue resembles finger painting. It's unclear when the statue was vandalized. U.S. Park Police were alerted Monday morning to that incident.

U.S. Park Police are investigating whether the case at the Henry statue is linked to the incident at the Lincoln Memorial, Linda St. Thomas of the Smithsonian told News4.

"It is [the] Smithsonian's job to remove the paint -- from [the] granite base and bronze statue," she said. "We have to find a product that will not damage the protective coating."

St. Thomas said they should be able to remove the paint within a couple of days, but they are taking their time to make sure they don't damage the memorial.

Ian Glick, of the U.S. Park Police union, said the vandalism is evidence that more officers are needed to patrol in order to prevent such crimes.

Park Police are checking other statues on the National Mall.

Stay with News4 and NBCWashington.com for more.

 


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