The Holy Land cross in Waterbury, which stands high upon Pine Hill, has been vandalized and the graffiti is visible to people driving by on Interstate 84.
The vandals struck over the weekend, tagging the cross with expletives, as well as other markings.
“To think that someone would deface the cross like this is just sad,” said Mayor Neil M. O’Leary, a part-owner of Holy Land.
He said it will cost thousands to dollars to make repairs, which could drain funds that would have gone to spring renovations.
“Why do such a ridiculous childish thing to people? It means so much to everyone here and people passing through this city,” O’Leary said.
It took 30 years to complete Holy Land and the 52-foot high cross, according to the city website.
“We're trying to keep the property open so that people can enjoy it, but at the same time now we have to think about policing it a little bit more carefully,” O’Leary said Tuesday.
Holy Land has been in many tourism guides and on several websites, including Roadside America.
"The cross means so much to everyone in Waterbury, not just one particular faith, and everyone who travels through Waterbury,” O’Leary said.
In 2014, Timex sold special watches to help the city cover the operating cost of Holy Land.