Lincoln Memorial steps vandalized with ‘Free Gaza’ graffiti, red paint

The National Park Service is working to clean the steps of the Lincoln Memorial after vandals splattered red paint on the ground and scrawled the words ‘Free Gaza’ in several places Wednesday morning.

NPS spokesperson Mike Litterst said that by Wednesday evening, conservators removed almost all the latex and spray paint from the area around the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool. 

The conservation team is scheduled to apply one more treatment and wash to remove the remaining light shadow from the spray paint on Thursday morning. 

Litterst said the team anticipates the site to be completely restored, and all paint removed following the final treatment. NPS conservators began the process of removing the paint almost immediately after it was discovered by U.S. Park Police on Wednesday. 

The steps on the west side of the Reflecting Pool are closed to visitors while the cleanup takes place.

The incident remains under investigation. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the United States Park Police tip line at (202)379-4877 or e-mail

In September 2022, the Washington Monument was defaced with paint and vulgar messages. In June 2020, National Park Service crews cleaned graffiti from monuments and memorials around the D.C. region after they were vandalized by protesters.

This is a developing story. Stay with us for updates.

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Lincoln Memorial steps vandalized with ‘Free Gaza’ graffiti, red paint