By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Seven people were arrested Thursday night after a statue of George Washington in downtown Los Angeles was defaced and torn from its base, the L.A. Police Department said.

A statue of George Washington in Grand Park was defaced and ripped from its base Thursday night. (CBSLA)

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According to initial reports, a group of protesters gathered in Grand Park at about 7 p.m. and defaced the statue, located on Hill Street between Temple and 1st streets, before forcibly removing it from its base.

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The statue, a life-size bronze figure of America’s first president dressed in military uniform, is one of 30 copies of an original granite sculpture created in 1796 that currently sits at the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond, according to the Los Angeles Department of Arts and Culture.

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It was acquired in 1933 by the Women’s Community Service, an auxiliary of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, and presented to the county on Feb. 22 of that year to commemorate Washington’s birthday.