Plymouth Rock and several other historic monuments were defaced with red spray paint overnight Sunday, a vandalism spree that outraged residents.
Visitors to the waterfront Monday morning found graffiti on Plymouth Rock, the Pilgrim Maiden statue, and the National Monument to the Forefathers, town officials said. Plymouth Rock’s “1620” inscription was partially covered in red and the numbers and letters “508” and “MOF” were painted across it.
“We are saddened and sickened by the recent vandalism in our historic town,” Plymouth Town Manager Melissa Arrighi wrote on Twitter. “This is just one of our historic monuments that was hit. We will begin clean up as soon as possible and the police are investigating.”
We are saddened and sickened by the recent vandalism in our historic town. This is just one of our historic monuments that was hit. We will begin clean up as soon as possible and the police are investigating. pic.twitter.com/kQeTxO7sor— Melissa Arrighi (@MelissaArrighi) February 17, 2020
The vandalism comes during the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims’ landing at the site of Plymouth Rock, with celebrations slated to begin in April.
A lifelong Plymouth resident, East Coast Powerwashing owner Jake Mowles volunteered to remove the graffiti from the monuments.
“The town spent a lot of money beautifying the area for the anniversary,” Mowles said. “So we decided to volunteer our time to clean it up. I own the company so it won’t cost much out of pocket, and we love our town.”
Lea Filson, executive director of See Plymouth, said "seeing this type of disrespect for the historic reminders of the Mayflower story is both sad and unsettling."
“The outpouring of concern and anger over the incident has been a positive ending to a thoughtless gesture," she said in a statement.
Matt Berg can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @mattberg33.