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Plymouth Rock vandalized ahead of 400th anniversary of pilgrims' arrival to America
Plymouth Rock has been vandalized with graffiti as the Massachusetts town that bears its name prepares for the 400th anniversary of the pilgrims' arrival in America.
The landmark designated to honor when the pilgrims first stepped on the continent in 1620 was found vandalized Monday, in addition to the Pilgrim Maiden statue and the National Monument to the Forefathers, according to local TV station WBZ.
The message on the monument was an obscene one directed at police, USA Today reported.
"We are saddened and sickened by the recent vandalism in our historic town," Plymouth town manager Melissa Arrighi tweeted. "We will begin clean up as soon as possible and the police are investigating."
Police Chief Michael Botieri said no evidence appears to connect the vandalism to a political statement.
A spokesperson for the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation told The Hill on Tuesday that its staff removed the graffiti from the affected locations using a power washer, but a "red residue remains on Plymouth Rock due to its porous surface."
The spokesperson said the agency is looking at how to handle the remaining marks.
The vandals also damaged four artworks in the shape of scallops, a project of local artists for the 400th anniversary, said Amy Naples, the executive director of the Plymouth Area Chamber of Commerce, in a statement.
"Thankfully the chamber staff and Town of Plymouth DPW Department were able to remove 90 percent of the graffiti off the shells and the Chamber will continue to touch up the shells this week," Naples said. "The town has also been working hard all day to remove the graffiti off of the statues which unfortunately, requires a lot more work."
A local man, Kevin Depathy, started a GoFundMe campaign to gather money for a reward to catch the vandals, with a goal of $2,000.
"This was the worst case of vandalism the town has ever seen," Depathy said in a statement to The Hill.
-Updated Tuesday at 5:13 p.m.