Vandalism To State Capitol Building Could Cost Thousands To Repair, Restoration Manager Says

Tuesday, June 2nd 2020, 4:48 pm
By: Aaron Brilbeck

Experts are being brought in to assess the damage after protesters damage the state Capitol building. The vandalism could cost taxpayers more than $10,000. 

It was one of the more powerful moments during the protests on Sunday at the state Capitol. 

As a guy began spray painting the recently refurbished 18-foot metal doors on the building, he was shouted down by other protesters who stripped off their own shirts to try to clean off the paint before it dried.

“Let's get it off the door and let's show the people of Oklahoma that this is not what we are all about. This is about Black Lives Matter, not some white kid trying to take fame for some stupid crap,” one of the protesters told News 9.

It was a good effort, but the damage was done. The paint not only to the doors but also damaged the limestone blocks near the door.

“My heart dropped to the bottom of my stomach when I saw the damage when I was watching it on TV,” said Capitol restoration project manager Trait Thompson. “It’s a pretty malleable stone. You can make it into beautiful columns or you can make it into blocks for a building, but it is a very porous stone so it does soak in anything that gets applied to it.”

Thompson said he’s been impressed with all the people who wanted to help clean the Capitol. They’ve put up barriers though and are asking folks to leave that work to the professionals. Cleaning it the wrong way could cause more damage.

“This is all original material to the Capitol, and these are specialized materials so this is going to take specialized contractors to come out to repair that damage,” Thompson said.

That said, Thompson said he’s proud of the thousands of protesters who went to the state Capitol and did no damage. He said this is what the people's house is for.

“I’m glad that this is being used as a symbol for people who want to petition their government," he said.