The iconic Plymouth Rock was vandalized overnight in a spree desecrating the site marking the landing of the Pilgrims in Massachusetts 400 years ago, Daily Mail reports. (images below)
Officials in Plymouth discovered the vandalism at the rock and other sites around the historic town early on Monday morning.
Workers removed the red spray paint, which included the letters MOF and the numbers 508, from the rock before noon.
Authorities say no arrests have been made and the site was open to tourists.
The rock has come to symbolize the spot where William Bradford and the Mayflower Pilgrims disembarked before founding Plymouth Colony in December 1620.
The vandals also targeted a seashell-shaped sign celebrating the upcoming 400th anniversary of the 1620 Mayflower landing, the Pilgrim Maiden statue and the National Monument To The Forefathers.
Most of the graffiti was indecipherable though local officials say some of it contained anti-police messages.
Police say it was not immediately clear if this graffiti incident had any connection to the anniversary celebration, but Plymouth Rock has been the site of political demonstrations before.
United American Indians of New England holds the solemn remembrance on every Thanksgiving Day since 1970 there to recall what organizers describe as ‘the genocide of millions of native people, the theft of native lands and the relentless assault on native culture.’
‘Seeing this type of disrespect for the historic reminders of the Mayflower story is both sad and unsettling,’ Lea Filson, the executive director of local tourism agency See Plymouth, said in a statement to USA Today.
‘The outpouring of concern and anger over the incident has been a positive ending to a thoughtless gesture.’
Four centuries on, the United States is now preparing to commemorate the moment the Mayflower made its historic crossing from the U.K.
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