RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The gravesite of Maggie L. Walker, located in Richmond’s Evergreen Cemetery, was found vandalized with graffiti on Monday. Sir Moses Montefiore Cemetery, a Jewish cemetery in Henrico County, was also tagged with graffiti.
A statue in honor of Walker, a Richmond icon and the first woman to found a bank in the United States, was erected in the city in 2017. Hundreds were in attendance for the unveiling.
Walker was buried at Evergreen Cemetery, a historic African-American cemetery, where several other prominent figures from the 19th and 20th century were laid to rest. Efforts to help preserve the cemetery, which has struggled in the past with overgrown graves that have not been properly maintained, have taken place in the last few years.
John Sydnor, with the Enrichmond Foundation, said that he was notified of vandalism at Evergreen and East End Cemetery early Monday. The numbers “777” were spray-painted on Walker’s gravesite.
“Not trying to eliminate any possible purposes behind this,” Sydnor told 8News. “We will actively get to it right away and make sure everything is put back to a clean and respectful manner.”
Richmond police told 8News that an investigation is underway. Sydnor said that they immediately began work to clean up the cemetery but the foundation doubts it can be cleaned by the end of the day as the pillars at the entrance to the cemetery will need to be repainted and they don’t plan on painting ahead of Isaias.
Photos show that the graffiti found at Sir Moses Montefiore Cemetery had a similar color as the graffiti at Evergreen.