HOUSTON, Texas — Two Rice University have been busted for allegedly putting “Trump 16” graffiti on the Berlin Wall memorial on the campus in Houston.
“#DeportSpanos and “TrumpBaby!” was also scrawled on a mural hung on a shipping container on the campus, reported the Houston Chronicle.
The vandalism was discovered on Friday when the writing appeared on the memorial wall outside of the Baker Institute of Public Policy. The mural was on the shipping container at the Moody Center which had been decorated with art.
The vandalism of the Berlin Wall Memorial covered “Salut mes amis,” which was on the memorial before it was covered by the Trump message. In French this means “Hello my friends.”
Communist East German authorities built the wall to divide East and West Berlin in 1961. It was torn down on November 9, 1989. The destruction of the wall followed a speech by then-President Ronald Reagan where he famously called on Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down this wall.”
The original message was painted before the wall fell in 1989 and has been on the Rice University Campus since 2000, the hometown paper reported.
The local ABC affiliate reported the references to “Hashtag Deport Spanos,” could have been a reference to the billionaire San Diego Charger owner, Alex Spanos. The San Diego Chargers recently announced that they would be leaving the California city.
The university released a statement on Saturday night which was obtained by the Chronicle. It did not name the students who were responsible for the criminal mischief.
“Vandalism of an important symbol of freedom and of student art are deeply concerning,” President David Leebron and Provost Marie Lynn Miranda said in a statement.
“We ask everyone in our community to join us in condemning such behavior and to work together to prevent such hostile acts and to protect the Rice property that contributes so much to our experience and quality of life.”
The graffiti was removed from the shipping containers but the Berlin wall has been covered because it requires a special removal process, reported the ABC Houston affiliate. Workers have placed anti-graffiti spray on the affected parts of the wall.
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated with additional information.