New Jersey police investigating after hands of George Washington statue painted red

"It was political, I know that," assessed resident international art scene legend.
By Matt Bradwell   |   Sept. 3, 2014 at 2:19 PM

TRENTON, N.J., Sept. 3 (UPI) -- A statue of George Washington in Trenton was discovered vandalized over Labor Day weekend, in what residents believe was a vague political statement.

Ninety-six-year-old Trenton resident Bernice Mitchell first noticed the painted-red hands on the statue of George Washington in Mill Hill Park Saturday morning. Earlier that day, neighbors began emailing about the statue's red hands, prompting police to believe the vandalism occurred between Friday night and Saturday morning.

More than just an act of random vandalism, police and neighbors believe the graffiti was a calculated political move.

"If it was spray painted, how come you can't see any other parts that got red," noted Mitchell to the Trentonian. The statue is over six feet tall and stands 20 feet off the ground.

"Someone must have climbed up there," Mitchell said.

"It was political, I know that," assessed neighbor Jon Naar. More than just a resident with a view of the freshly-altered statue, 94-year-old Naar is a in an internationally renowned photographer, most known for his groundbreaking coverage of the infancy of New York City's legendary graffiti and street art culture.

The statue was built in Italy in 1776 for display at the U.S. Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia and purchased by the city of Trenton 20 years later.

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