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Vandals paint Plymouth Rock with red graffiti

Plymouth Rock, the historic monument marking the arrival of the Mayflower 400 years ago, was tagged with what appears to be red spray paint Monday, officials in Massachusetts said.

Several historic landmarks have been vandalized as the town of Plymouth celebrates its quadricentennial, Town Manager Melissa Arrighi said in an interview.

A historic granite bench, decorative clam shells, a nearly century-old statue — “the Pilgrim Maiden” — and the National Monument to the Forefathers have all been targeted, Arrighi said.

The monument, completed in 1889, is thought to be the largest solid granite monument in the world.

“Seeing this type of disrespect for the historic reminders of the Mayflower story is both sad and unsettling,” said Lea Filson, executive director of a local tourism group, See Plymouth.

“The outpouring of concern and anger over the incident has been a positive ending to a thoughtless gesture,” she said.

In 2014, after someone spray-painted “LIES” onto the rock, a state official told Boston.com that such vandalism was routine.

“This kind of thing happens two to five times a year,” the official, Bill Hickey, a spokesman for the state Department of Conservation and Recreation, told the site. “It’s just the nature of where it is.”

Arrighi said that much of the graffiti had been cleaned up by Monday afternoon and that police were investigating.