Priscilla Presley ‘Appalled’ by Vandalism at Graceland
Priscilla Presley, widow of rock 'n' roll icon Elvis Presley, has spoken out following the recent vandalization of Graceland, the musician's legendary estate in Memphis. In a Facebook post, Presley says she's "saddened" and "appalled" at the act.
"Concerning the graffiti at Graceland, I’m absolutely horrified that those in our own city disgraced the walls surrounding Graceland," Presley wrote on Facebook on Thursday (Sept. 3). "I’m saddened by acts like this and appalled by this behavior."
Priscilla Presley is the person largely responsible for turning Graceland — which Elvis Presley bought in 1957 and lived at until his death, at the age of 42, in 1977 — into the designated historic site and tourist destination it is today. When she was faced with needing to sell the estate due to upkeep costs, Presley worked to open the property to the public, which paid off in spades.
Sometime in the hours between Monday night (Aug. 31) and Tuesday morning (Sept. 1). Memphis' Commercial Appeal reports, vandals spray-painted the front walls surrounding Graceland and the sidewalk in front of the property with Black Lives Matter and Defund the Police graffiti using black and orange spray paint. Priscilla Presley says Graceland's "dedicated crew" was able to clean the graffiti off in the days since.
Vandals also hit the Levitt Shell, a popular open-air concert amphitheater located in the Overton Park area of Memphis. The venue was the site of what some historians call the first-ever rock 'n' roll show, according to its official website, when Elvis Presley took the stage on July 30, 1954, before the evening's headliner, Slim Whitman, and the venue continues to host more than 50 shows each year. Additionally, Memphis' famous "I (Heart) Memphis" mural was defaced by graffiti on the same night.
It's unclear if anyone actually involved with the Black Lives Matter movement was responsible for any of the vandalism. Memphis news station WMC Actions News 5 reports that Memphis police are conducting an investigation into the graffiti.
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