Plymouth Rock, the historic monument marking the arrival of the Mayflower 400 years ago, was tagged with what appears to be red spray paint Monday, officials in Massachusetts said.
Several historic landmarks have been vandalized as the town of Plymouth celebrates its quadricentennial, Town Manager Melissa Arrighi said in an interview.
A historic granite bench, decorative clam shells, a nearly century-old statue — "the Pilgrim Maiden" — and the National Monument to the Forefathers have all been targeted, Arrighi said.
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The monument, completed in 1889, is thought to be the largest solid granite monument in the world.
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
In 2014, after someone spray-painted "LIES" onto the rock, a state official told Boston.com that such vandalism was routine.
"This kind of thing happens two to five times a year," the official, Bill Hickey, a spokesman for the state Department of Conservation and Recreation, told the site. "It's just the nature of where it is."
Arrighi said that much of the graffiti had been cleaned up by Monday afternoon and that police were investigating.
Tim Stelloh is a reporter for NBC News, based in California.