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Sword breaks off Civil War memorial; vandalism suspected

Associated Press logo Associated Press 2/21/2017
FILE - In this March 26, 2011, file photo people walk past the memorial to Union Col. Robert Gould Shaw and the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment, near the Statehouse in Boston. Boston police, who suspect vandalism, are investigating after it was reported Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017 that a sword has broken off the memorial. The 54th was the first regiment composed of men of African decent recruited in the North for battle in the Civil War. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this March 26, 2011, file photo people walk past the memorial to Union Col. Robert Gould Shaw and the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment, near the Statehouse in Boston. Boston police, who suspect vandalism, are investigating after it was reported Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017 that a sword has broken off the memorial. The 54th was the first regiment composed of men of African decent recruited in the North for battle in the Civil War. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)

BOSTON (AP) — A sword has broken off again from a memorial depicting the famed 54th Massachusetts Civil War regiment, featured in the Denzel Washington movie "Glory."

Boston police are investigating after the damage was reported Tuesday. They suspect vandalism.

National Park Service spokesman Sean Hennessey tells the Boston Globe it's happened frequently enough that there are fiberglass replacement swords on hand.

The memorial is by sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens. It depicts the free black men who formed a regiment led by Robert Gould Shaw, the son of a white abolitionist family.

The regiment was made famous by its 1863 attack on Fort Wagner in South Carolina and was popularized in the 1989 movie.

The statue is a popular tourist stop across from the Statehouse. Someone splashed it with paint in 2012. Someone else ripped off the sword in 2015.

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