Police in Nashville are reviewing surveillance footage to unravel who was behind the vandalism of a Civil War memorial in Centennial Park.
The Confederate Private Monument has stood in Centennial Park since 1909. Over the weekend, the phrase “They Were Racists” was painted on the statue and red paint was splattered on the side.
But a spokeswoman for the Metro Nashville Police Department says vandalism is “often a very difficult crime to solve.”
No arrests have been made in similar vandalism cases in recent years. That includes the dousing of pink paint on the prominent statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest along Interstate 65 in late 2017, or the scrawling of profanities on the tomb of President Andrew Jackson a little over a year ago. The Hermitage says that was the first time Jackson’s grave had been vandalized.
Similarly, the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Department says it doesn’t know who smeared paint on a monument in the courthouse square in Murfreesboro last March. In that case, police also had surveillance footage. But even after appealing to the public for help, they’ve made no arrests.
The Confederate Private Monument was dedicated in 1909 and created by George Zolnay, a sculptor who also worked on the original version of Centennial Park’s Parthenon.