By Arul Louis
New York, June 10 (SocialNews.XYZ) The statue of Mahatma Gandhi that was desecrated with a vile personal attack on him and an anti-India slogan during the anti-police demonstrations in Washington is being cleaned, according to the National Parks Service (NPS).
A conservator was working with the Indian Embassy on Tuesday to restore the statue, Mike Litterst, the NPS chief of communications for memorial parks said in an email to IANS.
"Our staff spoke with embassy personnel and provided the name of a conservator, who we understand has been able to remove most of the graffiti on the stone and is continuing to work today," he said.
The statue was erected by the embassy and since it continues to maintain it, the mission made the arrangements for cleaning it, he added.
IANS was unable to reach the Indian embassy.
The statue had been vandalised with graffiti written in orange paint on June 2, according to Litterst.
US Ambassador to India Ken Juster has apologised for the statue's desecration.
The organisers of the protests as well as politicians supporting them have remained silent.
In pictures of the vandalism seen by IANS, personal attacks on Gandhi are painted on one side of the pedestal and an anti-India slogan on the other side.
This makes it appear a clear attack on Gandhi and an action targeting India because they are not like the protest graffiti elsewhere that carry slogans about protecting the rights of African Americans and against police and racism.
The nation-wide against police brutality and racism was triggered by the extra-judicial killing in Minneapolis of an African American man by a policeman who choked him by kneeling on his neck.
The Gandhi statue that was dedicated in 2000 by Bill Clinton, who was then the US president, and Atal Behari Vajpayee, Indian Prime Minister at that time.
The US Congress passed a bill in 1998 authorising the erection of the statue on government land.
The 2.6-metre tall statue was designed by sculptor Gautam Pal and depicts Gandhi as he led the 1930 Salt Satyagraha and bears his quote, "My life is my message."
(Arul Louis can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter @arulouis)