Who stole the sword?
The sword Joan of Arc wields in a statue in Northwest Washington's Meridian Hill Park has vanished and the National Park Service says it was stolen.
The French heroine clutched only her weapon's handle in her right hand Wednesday afternoon, as Borderstan.com was first to report. The bronze sword appeared to have been broken off.
U.S. Park Police are investigating the theft. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton questioned whether NPS could have prevented it.
"The Park Service should be able to give Joan of Arc her sword back and place it so securely that kids couldn't get it out," she said.
This is at least the second time the French heroine's sword has vanished. It was stolen in 1978 and was not replaced until 2011, the history website Ghosts of DC says.
The sculpture was a gift from Le Lyceum Societie des Femmes de France, a society of French women, to the women of the United States, according to the Smithsonian Institution. It was dedicated in 1922 and was designed as a replica of a statue in front of Rheims Cathedral in France.
One parkgoer was frustrated to see that the sword was missing.
"People don't have any respect for others. That's for everybody, not for an individual," he said. "Such a beautiful landmark too."
"So sad. Stealing part of history," another man said.
News4's Pat Collins asked, "What kind of person would take Joan of Arc's sword?"
"My best guess? Some college students drunk, on a college pledge task," one man responded.