After careful inspection, it was determined that 51 memorials and monuments had been hit, with repairs expected to cost over $100,000.
The vandalism comes as a shock, as Green-Wood Cemetery has a high cast iron fence that surrounds the 478-acre cemetery. The cemetery also has a 24-hour car patrol of the grounds, along with video cameras mounted throughout the grounds to dissuade acts of vandalism in historic burial grounds.
“I have been visiting Green-Wood since 1986, and, while I recall some incidents of vandalism, I cannot remember anything on this scale or close to it,” wrote cemetery historian Jeff Richman on Green-Wood's website. “Gravestones were pushed over and shattered.”
Many of the monuments have been repaired and put back in their original place. However, some of the more intricate works have been taken to an on-site repair shop where they will be fixed. Backhoes and trucks are being used to lift and transport the heavy memorials, putting them back or carting them to the shop.
As of press time, a timeline for the completion for the repairs was unclear.
Kevin Nielsen, acting foreman of the South Zone, discovered the vandalism on Tuesday morning when workers went out to mow the lawns, trim the grass, and weed the gardens.
An individual was captured on video, who Green-Wood staff believes is responsible for these crimes. The video has been turned over to detectives from the Hate Crime Squad, who is involved because of the overwhelming number of crucifixes that were destroyed.
A spokesperson for the cemetery said that an act of kindness has come out of the vandalism. A person walked off the street after hearing about the broken statues and memorials and offered to write a check.
“This cemetery resonates with the people in Brooklyn,” the spokesperson said.