Who does this kind of thing?

The Lincoln Memorial was shut down Friday after vandals splattered the base of the statue with green paint.

From CNN:

Vandals splashed green paint on the base of the Lincoln Memorial’s statue overnight, prompting officials to temporarily close the marble fixture on Washington’s National Mall, authorities said.

Police were alerted just before 1:30 a.m. and found paint splattered on the leg and base of the 19-foot-tall statue of Abraham Lincoln, U.S. Park Police Capt. Steven Booker told CNN Friday. There were no discernible letters or markings.

The memorial will be closed until it is cleaned up, Booker said. A timeframe was not given.

Lincoln Memorial Vandalism

Photo: AP

Captain Booker said that the act “appears intentional based off of the splatter,” according to MyFOX DC.

As others, like the NY Times, have noted for some time, vandalism in our national parks and memorials seems to be a growing trend these days.  Sites such as the Joshua Tree National Park in California, Saguaro National Park in Arizona, and Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, among others, have all been the recent targets of such damage.

There has been much speculation that vandals’ propensity to achieve social media “fame” fuels some of these kinds of acts, but in some cases, the culprits’ own social media postings have instead helped to catch them.

From the NY Times:

At El Morro National Monument in New Mexico in 2011, two South Korean exchange students added their own contributions to Inscription Rock, a treasured panel where 19th-century soldiers and pioneers etched their names. One wrote “Super Duper Dana,” the other, “Gabriel.”

Rangers later checked the visitor center sign-in book and saw the name “Dana Choi” followed by the comment “Super Duper Dana Choi.” Ms. Choi and another student, Seung Hoon Oh, later posted pictures of their trip on their Facebook pages. When contacted by park officials, they also admitted their acts, eventually pleading guilty to violation of a federal law protecting archaeological resources. They were fined nearly $15,000 each.

It’s not yet known who vandalized the Lincoln Memorial or why, but it’s certainly disheartening to see such disrespect for a cherished symbol of our nation’s history.

UPDATE 7/26/2013 at 1:30pm EDT:  Main portico space reopened, but the chamber area (where the statue sits) remains closed as crews continue to remove the paint.