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Vietnam Veterans Memorial Looks Easy to Repair, Stone Expert Says

May 07, 1988|United Press International

WASHINGTON — Stone specialists inspecting vandalism to the black granite Vietnam Veterans Memorial said Friday that the damage should be easy to repair.

"It does not look like a serious problem," said Gene Simmons, a stone and construction specialist brought in to inspect the wall where someone scrawled a swastika-like symbol and other lines.

Simmons called the scratches superficial and said they can likely be fixed with "a small amount of polishing and buffing." He said the damage should take no more than a day to repair and will not require disassembling part of the wall, which is etched with the names of more than 56,000 service personnel who died in the Vietnam War.

Two More Panels Damaged

Officials had earlier disclosed vandalism to only one panel on the wall, where the swastika-like symbol had appeared.

But Jan Scruggs, president of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, confirmed Friday that other scratches were found on two other panels in separate sections. The scratches were found on panels 15, where the swastika-like symbol was scrawled, and panels 52 and 59, he said.

Scruggs said he expects to know within about 10 days when the wall can be repaired and how much it will cost.

Temporary repairs with acrylic "for cosmetic purposes" will be done by the National Park Service, which operates the memorial, Simmons said.

A veterans group is offering $1,000 for the conviction of those responsible for the vandalism.

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