Updated: Incident at National Archives Rotunda Closes Galleries to Public
Press Release · Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Washington, DC

Update as of 3 pm ET, February 15, 2024: The National Archives Rotunda will remain closed tomorrow, Friday, February 16.


The National Archives Rotunda and galleries in Washington, DC, closed to the public today after two individuals dumped red powder on the encasement protecting the U.S. Constitution at approximately 2:30 pm. They were immediately detained by security personnel. Officials are investigating the incident. 

The Constitution was unaffected in its encasement. No damage was done to the document itself. The agency's conservators were onsite within minutes and are conducting a thorough evaluation of the damage to the Rotunda. For Thursday, February 15, the Rotunda will remain closed for cleaning. The rest of the National Archives Building will be open on its regular schedule.

“The National Archives Rotunda is the sanctuary for our nation’s founding documents. They are here for all Americans to view and understand the principles of our nation. We take such vandalism very seriously and we will insist that the perpetrators be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” said Dr. Colleen Shogan, Archivist of the United States.


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This page was last reviewed on February 15, 2024.
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