Earlier this month, on September 7th, someone walked along the Vietnam Veterans Memorial with some type of oil, squirting it secretly on the Wall as they walked by. The unknown oil has done real damage to the polished granite surface. The Park Service is now carefully trying to fix the damage. Restoration is moving slowly in order to prevent forcing the oil deeper into the cracks and pores of the stone. The damage appears as dark splotches that are particularly visible on the unpolished stone.
The National Park Service is calling this an act of vandalism, not an accident. US Park Police have been reviewing their security video of the evening for clues. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, which built the Wall, offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case.
As with anything in this modern information age, someone has grabbed their video camera and documented the damage for the world to see, viewable on YouTube. Here it is, notice the park clean up already in progress.
In November, the Wall will be 25 years old -- four years older than Maya Lin was when her design for the memorial was selected as the winner while she was still an undergraduate in college.
Washington Post - Oily Substance on Wall Was Vandalism, Not Accident, Police Say
HumanEvents.com - Damaged Vietnam Memorial Has Park Service Walking on Eggshells
More Photographs - Damage to the Wall