Capitol Rotunda

The rotunda room of the U.S. Capitol, which did not sustain damage by rioters on Jan. 6, Town & Country Associate Editor Leena Kim reported. Image source: Architect of the Capitol

Washington, D.C. – After the tear gas settled at the U.S. Capitol, curators responsible for the building's preservation assessed the damage, according to The New York Times.

Residue from tear gas, pepper spray and fire extinguishers was left on statues, murals, historic benches and shutters, Architect of the Capitol spokeswoman Erin Courtney told The Art Newspaper

Most of the damage was limited to graffiti, broken doors and shattered glass, Courtney said. A building near the inaugural stands where President-Elect Joe Biden plans to take the oath of office was defaced with graffiti, according to Courtney.

A memorial placard of the late civil rights activist John Lewis was destroyed by the rioters, Maryland Rep. Steny Hoyer tweeted.

But the priceless works of art in the rotunda room (where Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg recently laid in state), were not damaged, Town & Country Associate Editor Leena Kim reported.

Busts of George Washington and Martin Luther King Jr. were left untouched, as were the statues of National Statuary Hall, according to Kim.

"No major artworks were reported damaged, despite the violent demonstrations," Sarah Bahr reported in The New York Times.

Two bronze light fixtures designed by 19th-century American architect Frederick Law Olmsted were broken, according to an inventory of the damage released by the Architect of the Capitol and cited by Bahr. A blood-like substance defaced a 19th-century marble bust of President Zachary Taylor, Bahr said.

Some preservationists have suggested allowing some damage to remain as a historical marker, multiple art and news outlets report.

A former director of policy development for the National Trust for Historic Preservation told ARTnews that the damage is a memento of the vulnerability of our institutions and a reminder of our need to protect them.

Similarly, flags, signs and debris left behind by the pro-Trump rioters were collected and preserved as historical artifacts, a spokesperson for the House Administration Committee told The Washington Post.

"Pro-insurrection stickers and flags as well as Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-Calif.) damaged nameplate are being collected for preservation as part of an archive on Wednesday's events," The Hill's Celine Castronuovo reported.

This story was compiled by an NCPA staff reporter from submitted news. To see a list of our editorial staff please visit our staff directory.