Plymouth Rock was spray-painted with a message Monday as one or more vandals struck the historic site in Plymouth, Massachusetts, an act that the head of the local tourism board called "sad and unsettling."
The rock, which commemorates the 1620 arrival of the Mayflower carrying Pilgrims, was found tagged with red graffiti.
The other objects found defaced by Monday morning were the Pilgrim Maiden statue, a pair of painted scallop shells and a commemorative bench, according to See Plymouth, the tourism board. A photo showed another bit of graffiti with the same message on the sidewalk outside the Plymouth Memorial Ampitheatre.
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The graffiti was removed within a few hours, according to See Plymouth.
"Seeing this type of disrespect for the historic reminders of the Mayflower story is both sad and unsettling," said Lea Filson, See Plymouth's executive director, in a statement. "The outpouring of concern and anger over the incident has been a positive ending to a thoughtless gesture."
PHOTOS: The Graffiti Spree at Plymouth Rock
In a tweet late Monday morning, Plymouth town manager Melissa Arrighi said, "We are saddened and sickened by the recent vandalism in our historic town."
"We will begin clean up as soon as possible and the police are investigating," Arrighi said.
This year marks the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims arrival on the Mayflower. It is unclear whether the vandalism is connected to the marking of the anniversary.