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Historic Princeton Building Defaced with Antisemitic Vandalism

The front of Nassau Hall was vandalized with red paint and spray-paint graffiti reading, “Tragic Accident, Genocide Denial” at approximately 3:40 a.m. on Wednesday, May 29, according to a Public Safety Clery report from Wednesday. Princeton Israeli Apartheid Divest (PIAD) did not claim responsibility, but said that an “autonomous group” was responsible for the action — the same response the group gave following the vandalization of Robertson Hall on May 25.

PIAD posted photos of the action on Instagram around 8:30 a.m., which showed graffiti in front of the steps of the building. One of the tiger statues flanking the steps has red paint poured on the tiger’s back. These photos also included a golf cart parked in front of the written graffiti. 

In a statement to the ‘Prince,’ a spokesperson for PIAD wrote, “The action was conducted by an autonomous group calling attention to Princeton’s complicity in Israel’s genocide in Palestine, especially in light of its brutal escalation in Rafah, where displaced Palestinians were burned alive.” The statement added, “Princeton must divest and dissociate from Israel. PIAD supports the action’s goals.”

This action comes in the wake of the vandalism of Robertson Hall and the fountain outside of it on Scudder Plaza in the early morning of May 25 by a similar “autonomous” group of individuals. The fountain’s water was dyed red, and the side of Robertson Hall was spray painted in red with the words “Pretty Town, Bloody Gown.” Robertson Hall is home to the School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA) department. 

PIAD has called for a “diversity of tactics” on their X account, stating that “Any action, any disruption, any escalation” was encouraged.

According to the Clery Crime and Fire Log for May 25, the vandalism of the SPIA building and fountain remain under open investigation and are classified as “Criminal Mischief.” The vandalism that occurred on Wednesday is also designated as “Criminal Mischief” and also remains under open investigation. The log reported that the incident was resported at the same time that it was carried out: 3:40 a.m. on May 29. 

University Facilities employees were seen removing the graffiti from Nassau Hall with water hoses at 11:15 a.m. By 11:45 a.m., traces of paint on the statues and much of the graffiti on the ground was removed.

The University did not respond to a request for comment.