Statement Regarding Immediate Response to Powder Paint Vandalism
Press Release · Thursday, February 15, 2024

Washington, DC

The National Archives is aware of a video posted on social media depicting the February 14, 2024, incident in the National Archives Rotunda. Vandals intentionally spread a red powder that has been identified as pigment and cornstarch on and around the encasement that houses the Constitution of the United States. While the incident is deplorable, and the National Archives is working with federal law enforcement agencies to ensure the perpetrators are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, the video does not show the full scope of response by National Archives security personnel. 

The first duty of National Archives security is to protect life and safety. To ensure control of the situation and limit risk to others, officers promptly moved visitors out of the Rotunda before physically engaging the vandals.

The Archivist of the United States has established a task force to conduct an examination of the incident and our security protocols, systems, and personnel to identify lessons learned and implement changes swiftly.

The Rotunda was closed to the public on February 15, and will remain closed on February 16 to enable the completion of the steps necessary to return the Rotunda to its condition prior to the vandalism.


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This page was last reviewed on February 15, 2024.
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