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Man arrested for allegedly vandalizing Washington Monument with red paint

A man is in custody after the base of the Washington Monument was splashed with red paint that spelled out an expletive-filled message.

The area around the Washington Monument was temporarily closed and a man was taken into custody on Sept. 20 after the iconic landmark was vandalized with an expletive-filled message in red paint, police said.

An alert was tweeted by the United States Park Police on Sept. 20 saying the area around the base of the Washington Monument was temporarily closed and an adult male was in custody for vandalism. The man's name has not been released by authorities.

National Park Service conservators are working to clean up the issue, and it could take up to three weeks before the paint is completely removed, NPS officials told NBC Washington.

The base of the 555-foot-tall monument in the nation's capital could be seen smeared by red paint with the words, "Have you been f----- by this ↑. Gov says tough s---."

Washington Monument Vandalized With Suspect In Custody
The U.S. Park Police guard the Washington Monument after a vandal wrote graffiti and threw red paint against the base of the structure on September 21, 2022.Nathan Howard / Getty Images

The motive for the vandalism was not immediately clear, police said. The monument is expected to remain closed while the investigation continues.

Workers could be seen trying to remove the paint from the porous marble with washers and cleaning solution on Wednesday morning, according to NBC Washington.