Vandals overnight spray-painted a "Friends of the Barnes" lawn sign, just hours before a holiday party for donors at the Barnes Foundation at 300 North Latch's Lane in Merion Station.

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

The poster, 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 a second lawn sign, "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 currently under construction on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

-- Linda Loyd