The monument was being vandalized so the school spent $20,000 on a protective barrier. They should bill the families of the vandals for it.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports:

University of Missouri puts acrylic case around Jefferson headstone

There was a new addition Saturday to the security surrounding the Thomas Jefferson relics and statue at the University of Missouri — a $20,000 acrylic case for the third president’s original gravestone.

University employees installed the case over the obelisk that was originally erected at Monticello in 1833. After it was replaced in 1883, it was given to MU and unveiled on July 4, 1885.

It has been in various locations near the Chancellor’s Residence and the granite obelisk now sits on a concrete base adjacent to Francis Quadrangle.

The new acrylic vitrine, one-half to three-quarters of an inch thick, was installed in response to vandalism to the statue of a seated Jefferson placed nearby and graffiti written on the sidewalk during the summer, a university spokesman said Sunday.

“This is Jefferson’s original tombstone that was entrusted to the university and we have a responsibility to insure that it is preserved appropriately,” spokesman Christian Basi said.

The reason the grave marker was given to MU is uncertain. The university is the first state university established in the territory of the Louisiana Purchase, made when Jefferson was president, and it was modeled on the University of Virginia.

It became the focus of increased security measures this summer when the vandalism incidents followed a refusal by UM System President and MU Chancellor Mun Choi to remove a statue of Jefferson installed in 2001. A student, Roman Leaphart, started a petition asking for removal of the monument to “a racist slave owner.”


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