The statue of Mahatma Gandhi, which was vandalised by unknown miscreants last month, was restored here on Thursday.
The historic statue of the Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi, in front of the Indian Embassy here, was open for the public at a simple ceremony attended by the Deputy Secretary of State, Stephen Edward Biegun.
Biegun joined India’s Ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, in paying tribute to Gandhi at restored Mahatma Gandhi Plaza, in front of the Embassy in downtown Washington DC, the embassy said in a tweet.
“Mahatma’s message of truth and non-violence, peace and harmony continues to inspire people of India and United States and all across the world,” the Embassy said.
The statue was vandalised with graffiti and spray paint by unknown persons on June 2.
Following the incident, the Indian Embassy had taken up the matter with the US Department of State.
It worked with State Department, Metropolitan Police and National Park Service for expeditious restoration of the statue at the park.
The vandalism during the peak of a nationwide movement after the custodial death of African American George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25 was widely condemned by top US lawmakers and the Trump Campaign.
US Ambassador to India, Ken Juster said, “So sorry to see the desecration of the Gandhi statue in Washington DC. Please accept our sincere apologies.”
“Appalled as well by the horrific death of George Floyd and the awful violence and vandalism. We stand against prejudice & discrimination of any type. We will recover and be better,” he said in a tweet.
One of the few statues of a foreign leader on a federal land in Washington DC, the statue of Gandhi was dedicated by the former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in the presence of the then US president Bill Clinton on September 16, 2000, during his state visit to the US.