Newly Restored Andrew Jackson Tomb Unveiled

Posted at 5:47 PM, Jun 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-10 19:34:01-04

Two months after vandals spray painted graffiti on President Andrew Jackson's tomb, it has been restored.

A crowd gathered near the tomb of the seventh president and his wife, Rachel, Sunday at The Hermitage for a special unveiling ceremony.

Vandals allegedly covered the tomb with profanities, obscenities, and the word "killer" in black and red spray paint in April.

“This isn’t just a grave. The tomb and the grounds that surround it are symbols of our forming democracy, signposts on the path to a more perfect union,” Hermitage President and CEO Howard Kittell said.

After the vandalism, an Illinois-based company was brought in to carefully remove the markings with a special laser machine.

"It was a tricky cleaning process because the tomb is made up of Tennessee limestone that's softer and more porous than any other types of limestone. So we didn't want to damage the stone, nor did we want to bake the paint into the pores of the tomb. So it took a great deal of work," Howard said.

Howard and attendees said they understand Jackson may not have been an all around well-liked president, but he embodied America for a push for democracy.

"I think it's a pretty low individual that would do that. To desecrate a tomb in and of itself is terrible --- anybody's grave. But when it's a president, an historical figure at that with this plantation and this house being as old as it is and his tomb being as old as it is, and who have never had any type of vandalism done to it until this year, is pretty amazing. I just think that's really terrible," attendee Maria Sweatman said.

The vandalism was an unprecedented act in the near 200-year history of the home.

Howard said the organization is working on placing 24/7 surveillance video around the tomb, so that future disruptions will not happen again. The suspects have not been caught.

The special ceremony was also held on the anniversary of Jackson's funeral and burial at The Hermitage 173 years ago.