A prominent statue of the Virgin Mary was vandalized early Friday morning in Santa Monica, California.
The statue, which stands at the corner of 7th Street and California Avenue, was tagged with yellow graffiti between the hours of 1:00 and 6:00 a.m. Church employees worked to clean the paint off the statue after discovering it early Friday morning.
A source present suggested that the church would catch the culprit or culprits due to the presence of surveillance cameras.
It is not clear what the motive of the vandalism was, or whether it was a reaction to an ongoing scandal involving a decades-long cover-up of sexual abuse within the priesthood in Pennsylvania.
The statue has been vandalized before, in 2009. The Santa Monica Daily Press reported at the time:
Santa Monica Police are investigating an alleged hate crime after officials with St. Monica Catholic Church discovered a statue of the Virgin Mary beheaded shortly before Easter services commenced.
A priest found the 55-year-old marble statue, which stands on the corner of Seventh Street and California Avenue, decapitated around 5:45 a.m. on Sunday, spotting the head on the ground just a few feet away. The top of the statue was covered with a white plastic bag before service began.
“Even though it was a sad event, it didn’t take away from the joy of Easter and celebrating Christ’s resurrection,” Jason Farmer, the church spokesman, said. “The joy was still sustained and celebrated throughout the day.”
There is also a school adjacent to the cathedral. The congregation includes many prominent figures in Hollywood, media, and local government.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.