Thomas Jefferson statue, James Madison portrait among artifacts damaged in Capitol riot, officials say

WASHINGTON – Chemical damage to presidential sculptures and portraits, the devastation of the opening platform, as well as the permanent effects on workers, are among Capitol's top administrative officials whom legislative officials would investigate in depth on Wednesday after the January 6 riot.

In a written speech to an important subcommittee supervising the funding of legislative activities on Wednesday morning, Curator Farar Elliott will tell lawmakers his department needs a minimum of $25,000 to restore and preserve historical objects in the Capitol—including collateral damage to chemical photographs from former US Presidents such as Thomas Jefferson;

The sculptures and monuments, Elliott said, were among those outside the chamber on Jan. 6, "covered in a fine powder, likely residue from a chemical spray." She noted that on Jan. 6, several sprays, including bear mace, and fire extinguishers, were used in this house.

"Courageous staffers" saved other items during the riot, Elliott said, including a historic incest and Mace of the House.

The officials' testimony arrives as many legislative committees study the tragedy and its effects.

Senators pressed former law enforcement officers on Tuesday over defense and intelligence violations, which resulted in five deaths and several injuries, and on the day of the protest.

Top law enforcement officers in the House and the acting head of the Capitol Police will appear to the same panel again on Thursday, with officials from the Department of Homeland Security, Defense Department and FBI going to testify before a Senate panel next week.

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Brett Blanton, Capitol's Architect, the Capitol Management Agency, is asking lawmakers about building damage and explaining some of the current security measures in the Capitol.

The forum designed for the inauguration of President Joe Biden was 'wracked' by the rioters, Blanton claims.

"There was broken glass and other debris, sound systems and photography equipment was damaged beyond repair or stolen, two historic Olmsted lanterns were ripped from the ground, and the wet blue paint was tracked all over the historic stone balustrades and Capitol Building hallways," said Blanton in his remarks to the House.

His first estimate of damage to the building interior and outside was "was broken glass, broken doors and graffiti," by Blanton, however "suffered varying degrees of damage" suffered by chemical irritants and fire extinguisher in the building were caused by other historical pictures, murals, benches and shutters.

Blanton would also announce that the lengthy fencing deal for the Capitol has been extended to late March.

The city outside the Capitol was largely opened up to the public before the riot and the squares were full of runners, tourists and other travelers.

But since the riot, the Capitol has been surrounded by several layers of fencing with National Guards wearing rifles.

The fence and the increased police presence around the Capitol also attracted the wrath of the legislators.

"I want this fence out," said the reporters Tuesday Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., adding that he had wanted a "defense plan to keep it secure, without the presence of a stronghold.

Another representative, Catherine Szpindor, Chief Executive Officer of the Chamber, will discuss "emotional aspects" of the riot against employees and law makers and their staff assistance offices.

Harm is seen inside the Capitol Building of the United States early on January 7, 2020 after US President Donald Trump's supporters violated security and stormed the building in a session of Congress.

Although the Capitol's physical damage can be repaired, "the emotional aspects of the events of January 6 are more difficult to notice and treat. After a critical incident, feelings of fear, desperation, anxiety, and depression can linger undetected or even be ignored," Szpindor says in her planned remarks.

In an average year, 3000 meetings are had with workers, she said, but in the six-week span after the revolt, her staff "handled over individual 1,150 interactions with employees, managers, and Members," she said.

"At this rate, counseling and consultation services in 2021 would increase by 65 percent over 2020 and by 200 percent as compared to more ‘typical’ recent years," says Szpindor.

Staff are cleansing the damage at a Capitol Police checkpoint a day after a pro-Trump crowd broke up in Washington, DC on 7 January 2021.

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This article was originally published on USA TODAY: Capitol Riot: Thomas Jefferson statue among injury, according to officials