|During and after first pressure washing on July 23 (NPS photos)|
Gettysburg National Military Park has a suggestion to visitors after a misunderstanding this week: If you think you have seen an act of vandalism, tell us about it first before you put photos on social media.
That occurred when some people who saw a dark-colored substance on the Arkansas Memorial posted images on Facebook, saying it was vandalism, said park acting public affairs officer Jason Martz.
In a news release, the park said monument preservation staff had sprayed a biological cleaning solution, known as D2, at the memorial on Wednesday afternoon as rain began falling.
“This biological cleaning solution requires the surface to be cleaned to be wet before application and passing summer rains provide a perfect opportunity to quickly and effectively begin this process. The solution was allowed to set up overnight and monument preservation staff began cleaning the memorial the following morning on July 23,” Martz said.
|Staff uses biological agent before second washing (NPS photo)|
Monument maintenance targets mold, algae and lichens on the stone. Those growths turn different colors as they are being killed. “When the reds, yellows, and oranges mix over time, the overall color turns very dark. This is what was reported as vandalism by park visitors.”
Repeated applications clean such monuments, and any residual staining will be bleached out by the sun within a few days.
It appears photos posted on social media were taken between the application of the solution and the pressure washing the next day. Martz told the Civil War Picket a Facebook page that had a post alleging vandalism took the item down.
The park, while acknowledging public interest in protecting monuments, said concerned visitors should email staffers