Woman appears in DC court over green paint vandalism

Workers clean green paint from the organ in the Bethlehem Chapel at the National Cathedral on July 30, 2013 in Washington, DC. A Chinese woman appeared in a Washington court for splattering green paint inside the National Cathedral the day before. --
Workers clean green paint from the organ in the Bethlehem Chapel at the National Cathedral on July 30, 2013 in Washington, DC. A Chinese woman appeared in a Washington court for splattering green paint inside the National Cathedral the day before. -- PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON, District of Columbia (AFP) - A Chinese woman appeared in a Washington court on Tuesday for splattering green paint inside the National Cathedral the day before, the United States (US) Attorney's Office said.

Jia M. Tian, 58, who has been charged with felony destruction of property, was ordered by Judge Lori Parker to remain in custody pending a hearing on Friday while the case remains under investigation.

The National Cathedral was among a number of landmarks in the US capital - most notably the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall - vandalised with green paint in recent days.

Court documents identified the accused as a Chinese passport holder with a US visa that expired Saturday. When questioned by police "in her native tongue," she gave no details besides saying she lived in Los Angeles.

She was arrested at the National Cathedral holding "what appeared to be a soda can containing a green paint similar in colour" to the paint used to deface religious statutes and a pipe organ there.

Felony destruction of property carries a statutory maximum of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to US$5,000 (S$6,400).