Plymouth Rock, a historical landmark in Massachusetts that marks the arrival of the Mayflower 400 years ago, was vandalized with red spray paint, officials said.
It was one of seven iconic sites in the town of Plymouth that was tagged with the paint, according to a statement to See Plymouth, the town's tourism center. The Pilgrim Maiden Statue and the National Monument to the Forefathers were also vandalized.
Melissa Arrighi, the town manager, tweeted Monday that she was "saddened and sickened by the recent vandalism."
Lea Filson, the executive director of See Plymouth, called it a "thoughtless gesture."
"Seeing this type of disrespect for the historic reminders of the Mayflower story is both sad and unsettling,” Filson said in a statement. "The outpouring of concern and anger over the incident has been a positive ending to a thoughtless gesture.”
Plymouth police did not immediately respond to ABC News for comment, but they are said to be investigating. A Facebook post from the town's official page reported that police are actively seeking those responsible "and will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law."
The rock has the date 1620 inscribed into it. Though there is no historical evidence to confirm it was the actual rock that the Pilgrims landed at, it was identified as so in 1741, according to See Plymouth.
Plymouth is commemorating the 400th anniversary of the landing this year.
The paint was removed within hours after it was first discovered Monday, according to See Plymouth.