Renee Dodge, a tour guide at St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, said someone painted the tomb of "Voodoo queen" Marie Laveau pink about two weeks ago, but she does not think the painter had any ill-intent, the (New Orleans) Times-Picayune reported Monday.
"The person really came in to paint over the thousands of thousands of X's all over this tomb," she said. "And that's the real desecration."
Dodge said a local legend began a few decades ago indicating Laveau would grant wishes to those who drew X's on the tomb and followed other instructions.
"I'll tell, you, I don't have a problem with it being painted pink," she said. "I have a problem with it being paint."
Dodge said the trouble is the person used latex paint, which traps in moisture and poses "the single biggest threat to the survival of these brick-and-mortar tombs."
Dodge said the non-profit Save Our Cemeteries is consulting with restoration companies about removing the paint.
The tour guide said the pink paint has already been covered with several X's.
Laveau, who died in 1881, was known as the "Voodoo queen" and was renowned as a leader in the religion.