WASHINGTON (JTA) — Vandals have repeatedly scrawled the word “Jew” next to images of rats appearing on an outdoor Chinese Zodiac art display in the Chinatown section of Washington, D.C.
Maintenance crews employed by DowntownDC, a private nonprofit that encourages business in the city center, cleaned the graffiti on Monday from the Zodiac artwork, the DCist news website reported.
A passer-by, Michael Villafranca, notified police when he saw the defaced Zodiac animals, which are stenciled among the crosswalk lines at 8th and H streets in Washington’s northwest quadrant. Villafranca posted a photo on Twitter.
It was the third time in a week that the installation has been defaced with the word.
“I am so disturbed and sickened to see this walking into work, and in DC of all places,” Villafranca said in an Aug. 3 tweet, attached to a tweet by another passer-by who had posted a photo of the vandalism.
Other animals in the Zodiac display were left alone.