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Work Continues To Remove Green Paint From National Cathedral, Lincoln Memorial

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William Adair of Gold Leaf Studios, third from left, works with his staff to remove green paint from the organ in the Washington National Cathedral's historic Bethlehem Chapel, Tuesday, July 30, 2013, in Washington.
(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
William Adair of Gold Leaf Studios, third from left, works with his staff to remove green paint from the organ in the Washington National Cathedral's historic Bethlehem Chapel, Tuesday, July 30, 2013, in Washington.

Cleanup work is continuing at the National Cathedral following vandalism at two of its chapels.

Cathedral staff say that while paint has largely been removed from the gilt wooden reredos in the Children’s Chapel, green paint that was splattered on a pipe organ's façade and keyboard, wood paneling and the floor would take longer.

"A team of conservators is busy carefully removing the paint while avoiding damage to the delicate wooden surfaces. Although the pipes themselves cleaned easily, the grain of the wood has soaked up the paint. Full removal will be slower and more painstaking than expected, likely resulting in higher restoration costs," said the cathedral in a statement.

Both chapels were vandalized on Monday, the same day that two statues were found splattered with green paint.

Three days prior, it was the Lincoln Memorial that was vandalized, and progress is being made on cleanup there as well.

James Perry, the chief of resource management for the National Mall, says conservators are hoping a fourth cleaning process will remove the last remnants of discoloration.

Perry says some of the paint on the memorial came off during the very first cleaning, but the actual statue has proven to be the most challenging to clean.

"The statue itself is very porous white marble from Georgia, so we want to be very careful in addressing to make sure we're not causing damage to the statue itself.," Perry says.

In the wake of the cathedral's vandalism, police arrested 58-year-old Jiamei Tian, who they say had a soda can of green paint with her inside the cathedral. D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier has said that she thinks that the acts of vandalism are connected.

On Tuesday Tian was held without bond on a charge of defacing property. Her next court hearing is Friday.

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