Churchill graffiti mostly cleaned up

The bizarre graffiti that covered the Winston Churchill Museum in Fulton is all but gone.

Last week, crews used high pressure water hoses to remove the spray paint. Messages like, "Who are we?" and "Why?" covered the 17th Century church, Churchill statue and nearby Berlin Wall sculpture.

"We're very pleased that most of the graffiti for the church, for the statue is completely gone and left on residue," said Rob Havers, the museum's director. "Very impressed that the companies we hired did it so quickly and very pleased to get that part of the graffiti attack resolved."

On Monday, the silver mustache that covered the statue was gone and only trace evidence of the blue graffiti remained on the church.

Some small graffiti is still on the Berlin Wall sculpture but it should be gone by next week.

Despite the fact that the wall is already covered in Cold War-era graffiti, museum officials say removing this latest addition shouldn't be too difficult.

"One of the things that may help, in this instance, is there is a covering, or a coating, on that piece of sculpture which the new graffiti was sprayed," said Havers. "So it's my anticipation, or expectation, that will facilitate the removal and shouldn't be a terribly difficult job."

A St. Louis company will be brought in this week to begin work on the sculpture and it should be finished by next week.

The graffiti will cost around $5,000 to fully remove, according to Havers. The museum's working with their insurance company to figure out how much they'll have to pay out-of-pocket.

Police say the William Woods student charged with the crime, Victor Calderon, 24, is still in jail on a $35,000 bond. His next court date is scheduled for June 26.

Police say they're still looking for a possible second suspect.

On Monday, Republican Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer announced legislation naming the memorial, "America's National Churchill Museum."

Westminster College officials, and Churchill's granddaughter, say they're happy about the designation.

"The memorial is the hub of what makes our college unique," said Westmisnter President George Forsythe in a statement. "Churchill is an important symbol of what we seek to inspire in our students."