A statue of a Confederate soldier in a Georgia cemetery for more than a century has been vandalized, with its face smashed, hands "surgically" cut and rifle stolen, local police said.
"It has been reported," Police Lt. Danny Story in Rome, Georgia, told ABC News. "The damage has been estimated and, yes, we are investigating."
The monument at Myrtle Hill Cemetery in Rome, considered a memorial to the soldiers who defended Confederate states, was removed from its base.
It was thought to be vandalized between last Wednesday and Thursday.
Story said that the statue has escaped recent waves of vandalism targeting Confederate monuments.
Rome City Manager Sammy Rich said the damage to the monument was extensive and appeared to have involved some planning.
"It looked like it was surgically cut," Rich told The Rome News-Tribune.
He added that it appeared that vandals used a ladder in the defacing and hiked up a hill past locked gates to get to the monument.
"It's just super disappointing that somebody would go to that much trouble to get up there, put a ladder up or whatever to reach it," Rich told the News-Tribune.
Stan Rogers, the cemetery's director, told the newspaper that the gates are locked every night. That night was no different.
So far, damages have been estimated at $200,000, Rogers said.
The statue was erected in 1887 by "the Women of Rome" Georgia, a group that tended to the cemetery's Civil War section, according to archives at the University of Georgia.
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