The Hermitage adding security after desecration of Andrew Jackson’s tomb

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Each year, around 220,000 people visit Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage, about 10 miles east of downtown Nashville. 

Many stroll through the garden past the final resting place of President Jackson and his wife, Rachel. 

President Donald Trump visited in March of 2017 and placed a wreath at the tomb

But now, the site looks very different. 

Vandals snuck in and spray-painted the grave covers and a stone obelisk with profanities. 

Howard Kittell is President and CEO of the Andrew Jackson Foundation. 

He said the vandalism is unprecedented in the nearly 200 years since the tomb was built. 

“It hurts. It’s sad. It makes me angry,” said Kittell. “This is someone’s grave. It’s not a statue. It’s not a monument. It’s a grave. And it’s a grave to a consequential president, whether you like him or not.” 

The spray-paint was covered with plastic to hide the profanities from visitors until the tomb is repaired. 

 And the clock is ticking. The longer the graffiti stays there, the harder it is to clean. 

“We’ve been in touch with conservators, who are recommending different treatments to remove the paint before it sets in to the stone,” explained Kittell. 

For visitors, the crime is disappointing to say the least. 

Justin Beals, of Florida, visited The Hermitage Monday afternoon. 

“It seems the worst thing to be doing,” Beals told News 2. “Desecrating graves is something that is a special sort of offense to me.” 

The Hermitage is upgrading security after the incident. 

The property had surveillance cameras near the mansion, but not near the tomb. That will change very soon. 

More security personnel will also monitor the tomb. 

Metro police are investigating the recent vandalism.  

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