- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 2, 2015

PLATTE CENTER, Neb. (AP) - Officials say several statues at an eastern Nebraska cemetery have been vandalized.

The Omaha World-Herald (https://bit.ly/1O3jcml ) reports black spray paint was used to mark statues of saints, angels and Christ at the St. Patrick-St. Joseph Cemetery near Platte Center, a community of about 338 people. Cemetery officials say a couple visiting the grave of their son discovered the damage Sunday.

According to officials, a black heart was painted on St. Joseph and a white supremacist symbol marks the chest of St. Patrick. They say black eyes were painted onto a statue of Christ, while upside down crosses were painted on the chests of angels.

The walls flanking the cemetery’s gates were marked with phrases, including one in reference to Satan.

The eight-acre cemetery has about 800 graves, and is one of about two dozen rural cemeteries in the county.

Cemetery board member Bob Schmidt says cleaning up the damage will be problematic because warmer weather is needed to use the liquid that can remove the paint from the statues. Schmidt says no headstones appeared to have been damaged.

Schmidt said vandalism has been a periodic problem in the countryside.

“It’s too bad, especially this time of year,” Schmidt said. “It would be nice to have it straightened up by Christmas but I don’t know if it will work.”


Information from: Omaha World-Herald, https://www.omaha.com

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