First On WSFA 12 News: State Confederate Monument Vandalized At Capitol

Artists worked 40 years to build it, but in a few minutes vandals defaced the monument that honors confederate soldiers. "It's meaningless and cost the state money," said Bob Canter with the Finance Division.

The state historical commission just spent $200,000 to restore the monument to its original glory.  "We work hard to keep our state capitol and the monuments beautiful. People from around the country tell us it's one of the most beautiful in the nation," said Canter.

Ann Murphy passed through town on her way to Atlanta. She stopped by the Capitol to check out the monuments and was surprised by what she saw. "I think we were both shocked by what we saw," she said.

Governor Riley says work will begin soon to clean-up the damage. It's hard to tell how much it will cost, or how long it will take to restore the 121 year old monument. A top priority now is tracking down who's responsible. Riley said, "I hope we find whoever did it."

If caught, the person or persons responsible could face charges of criminal mischief, trespassing and destruction of public property.