Vandals overnight spray-painted a Friends of the Barnes lawn sign just hours before an annual holiday party for donors at the Barnes Foundation at 300 Latchs Lane in Merion Station.

Walter and Nancy Herman, who live directly across the street and who are advocates for keeping the art collection in Merion, said they awoke Sunday to find a large sign in their front yard obscured with red spray paint.

The sign, an illustration of founder Albert C. Barnes, read: "Why spend hundreds of millions on a faux Barnes when we have the original?" The Hermans said another lawn sign that said "Join the Fight to Save the Barnes" had been ripped up and tossed over a fence onto Barnes Foundation property. The Hermans filed a report with Lower Merion Township police.

A new home for the Barnes is under construction on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia.

- Linda Loyd