On the twelfth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, “guerrilla” artists have used the memorial in downtown Lafayette, La. to make a political statement.
The vandals attached cardboard cutouts of airplanes that appear to be crashing into the monument, which is made of beams taken from the original felled towers and crafted into a model of the World Trade Center. The monument also features limestone from the Pentagon, as well as soil from the area in Pennsylvania where Flight 93 crashed before it could reach its intended target.
The cardboard planes were decorated with symbols of the Eye of Providence and New World Order, both of which are commonly referenced by conspiracy theorists who believe that the U.S. government may be responsible for the attacks.
A cutout of George W. Bush, who was president at the time of the attack, may also have been placed near the memorial, according to one witness photograph.
The memorial was erected in 2002, the year after the attacks.
This is not the first incidence of vandalism on a 9/11 memorial. This Fourth of July, a band of teens stole a plaque of fallen firefighter William Mahoney in Long Island after ripping the memorial from the wall. A video camera caught the entire crime, and the plaque was eventually returned.
Said Mike Barbara of the Connetquot Youth Association, where the plaque was stolen from, “They pried the plaque right off the rock. It's terrible, for somebody that gave their life, you know, back on 9/11 and the place where his kids played and were brought up -- for somebody to go and do that to somebody's father is just sick, it's not right. We got it back, that's a good thing, but still what was done was done, it's wrong and we're not taking it lightly”