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Vandals Spray Paint State Capitol Building, Memorial

LANSING (WWJ/AP) - Authorities in Lansing say spray-painted graffiti has been found on the state Capitol building's columns and behind a memorial on the lawn's northeast side.

The graffiti was found around 4 a.m. Thursday and state employees immediately went to work trying to remove it from the memorial.

The graffiti includes stick figures on the columns and the phrase "Give art a chance" on the memorial.

"People have come by and they'll chalk our sidewalks, but most people have so much respect they don't even think about it," Steve Benkovsky, director of Capitol facilities, told The Lansing Journal. "When you see it, your stomach sort of sinks."

Benkovsky said the cleaning process could take days before the graffiti is completely removed from the memorial. The pillars, on the other hand, are a different story. Since the pillars are made of sandstone, which absorbs paint more deeply than the granite memorial, a portion of them might have to be replaced.

Benkovsky said he expects the clean up to cost at least $1,000 and could cost up to $8,000.

Investigators are asking anyone who may have seen something suspicious at the Capitol late Wednesday or early Thursday morning to call Michigan State Police at 517-373-2836.

TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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