The latest entry in Department of Public Safety’s crime log (warning: it’s a PDF—yes, they recently joined the 21th century and started putting their logs online… sort of) is actually pretty heartening:
Destruction of Property: A student possessing spray paint was arrested and charged with a series of recent vandalism incidents, including the Lady of Fatima defacing.
The log says the arrest was made at 12:58 a.m. this morning near Copley. It says that the suspect was identified and apprehended but the case is still under investigation.
On February 19, the face statue of the Blessed Mother was painted black. On March 21, the same statue was found with “red paint coming from the face, particularly the eyes, and dripping down,” according to an eye-witness.
There have also been other incidents of vandalism on campus in the past few months. The statue of World War II hero and Georgetown professor Jan Karski was vandalized less than a week after the first incident involving the Virgin Mary statue. There has also been a recent spate of anti-Semitic and anarchist graffiti. It is unclear whether all the cases are related.
Andy Pino, Georgetown’s Director of Media Relations, wrote in an e-mail, “DPS has apprehended a suspect in the recent incidents of vandalism on campus. The case is still under investigation, and I don’t have any more information to share.”
More information to come as we get it.
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Clean as of 5:15
Update: Facilities has already cleaned up all signs of the vandalism. Anyone catch a glimpse of what the vandalism entailed this time?
Georgetown’s Office of Student Affairs reports in an email (full text after the jump) that last night, and unknown suspect vandalized the statue of the Virgin Mary on Copley Lawn. This, of course, is the second time someone vandalized this statue (the first being sometime before February 22) and the third campus incident in which someone vandalized a statue (someone painted the face of Jan Karski’s statue red).
Weirdly, they don’t report the specifics of what happened to the statue this time. I assume it was painted (photograph to follow, unless Facilities has already completed clean-up): “This morning University officials became aware that the statue of the Blessed Mother on Copley Lawn was vandalized overnight. This incident is the most recent to have been reported over the past several weeks where paint has been used to deface religious symbols and other property in our community.”
The email reports that in response to this incident, DPS is ramping up security efforts around statues and religious spaces (DPS smacks forehead) and is the first of the emails to introduce the Metropolitan Police Department into the mix:
The Department of Public Safety (DPS) called the Metropolitan Police Department to report this incident and request cooperation in the ongoing investigation of these acts of vandalism. DPS is also increasing patrols of campus, with a particular emphasis on areas that include the presence of statues, religious symbols and sacred spaces.
Once again, nothing seems to be known about the perpetrator, including whether the incidents are related.
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The Jan Karski statue near White Gravenor, pre-vandalism
At 8:07, an email from Vice President for Student Affairs Todd Olson and the Office of Student Affairs notified Georgetown students and faculty that a second statue on Georgetown’s campus had been vandalized.
The statue of former Georgetown professor Jan Karski, a World War II Polish war hero who reported on the existence of concentration camps to the Allies during the war, “symbolizes many of the values central to our community,” Olson writes. It was found painted a little more than a week after the statue of the Virgin Mary was found with her face painted black on Copley Lawn. The late professor Karski taught at Georgetown for nearly 40 years. He died in 2000.
According to the email, Facilities has already removed most of the paint from the statue.
As is the case with the defacement of the Mary statue, the Department of Public Safety is investigating, but “[does] not know the motivation of the person or persons who painted the statue, nor whether or not they are members of the University community.” Any connection to the vandalism of the Mary statue is also unclear.
Full text of the email after the jump.
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A gruesome sight before restoration
Last night, the Office or Mission and Ministry sent out a campus-wide email alerting the student body that an unknown suspect had vandalized the statue of Mary that stands on Copley Lawn by painting its face black. From the looks of the email, (“we do not know the motivation of the person or persons who painted the face, nor whether they are members of the University community or not”), nothing seems to be known about the perpetrator.
According to the email, the incident happened “late last week” and the Department of Public Safety is investigating. The OMM also said they are making “prompt renovations,” and when they are complete, the Catholic Chaplaincy will hold a ceremony to rededicate the statue.
Photo used with permission of the Cardinal Newman Society
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