They’re Still Cleaning Oil Off the South Boston WWII Memorial

More of the substance has been found on monuments in Mattapan.

south boston war memorial

Photo by Bill Ilott via Flickr/Creative Commons

Update: OK, someone is clearly on a mission here. More of the oily, difficult to remove, and as-yet-unidentified substance has been found splashed on memorials at the Mt. Hope Cemetery in Mattapan, including a “Civil War, Spanish American War, WWI & WWII monument altar, Knights of Columbus and Free Masons memorials,” Boston Police wrote on the department’s blog Tuesday. Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying whoever is responsible, and officers were seen collecting samples of the gunk at one of the monuments. In a statement, Commissioner William Gross called the vandalism “incredibly distasteful and disheartening”:

How incredibly distasteful and disheartening it is to learn about the damage done to the memorials at the Mt. Hope Cemetery in Mattapan. Clearly, these memorials are meant to honor and show great respect to those, whether they be veterans or police officers, who spent a lifetime in dedicated service to our city and nation. I find it beyond reprehensible and wrong that anyone would think it okay to damage and desecrate such hallowed grounds. Clearly, we hope to quickly identify and hold accountable the person responsible for these misguided and hateful actions.”

Earlier: The cleanup continues at South Boston’s World War II memorial near Castle Island after the granite structure was, apparently, splattered with some kind of oil this week.

Who might have done this, or why, remains a mystery. But for now the arduous work of wiping the gunk off of the porous monument is still underway, led by the Department of Conservation and Recreation.

DCR is not alone in the effort, though. Those concerned with cleaning up the monument have reportedly been showing up with a variety of chemicals to help with the task, after soap and water proved unsuccessful.

State Police have said they are investigating the act of vandalism, which was first reported Monday at 11:30 a.m. Police do not know how long it had been there before they got the call.

Whoever decided to do this took the task pretty seriously. Oil is splashed everywhere for some reason, leaving dark stains streaking down its surfaces.

If you have any information about any of this, you can let State Police know at 617-740-7710.

Among many expressing their dismay at the vandalism, Congresman Stephen Lynch said he was “deeply hurt and disgusted by” what he called a “hateful attack.”