2 arrested after dumping red powder on Constitution at National Archives

2 arrested after dumping red powder on Constitution at National Archives

Two demonstrators splashed red powder onto the protective casing of the U.S. Constitution housed at the National Archives, leading to the temporary closure of the rotunda and galleries on Wednesday afternoon.

At approximately 2:30 p.m., two individuals poured red powder over themselves and onto the encased Constitution within the Archives’ rotunda. The D.C. police quickly arrived at the scene and apprehended them for vandalizing federal property.

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Fortunately, there was no physical harm inflicted on the Constitution during the incident.

A video uploaded on X captured the moment when two individuals, covered in red powder, stood before the Constitution, with one of them declaring, “We all deserve clean air, water, food, and a livable climate.

This act of protest is part of a recent trend where climate activists target various artworks and landmarks to raise awareness for their cause. Just the day before, two climate activists affixed images depicting recent flood damage in the Tuscany region onto the protective glass of Botticelli’s renowned masterpiece, “The Birth of Venus,” exhibited at Florence’s Uffizi Gallery.

Responding to the incident, the National Archives issued a statement condemning the vandalism directed at these significant documents.

“The National Archives Rotunda serves as a sanctuary for our nation’s foundational documents, which are meant for all Americans to observe and comprehend the principles of our nation. We take such acts of vandalism very seriously and will ensure that the individuals responsible are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” stated Dr. Colleen Shogan, the archivist of the United States.

The rotunda houses not only the Constitution but also the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights.

As a result of the incident, the National Archives announced the temporary closure of the rotunda for cleanup, with plans to reopen at the scheduled time on Thursday.

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Emily Johnson

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