A. If any monument, marker or memorial for war veterans as designated in §§ 15.2-1812 and 18.2-137 is violated or encroached upon, an action for the recovery of damages may be commenced by the following:
1. For a publicly owned monument, marker or memorial, by the attorney for the locality in which it is located; or, if no such action has commenced within sixty days following any such violation or encroachment, by any person having an interest in the matter; and
2. For a privately owned monument, marker or memorial, by the private organization, society or museum that owns it or any member of such organization, society or museum.
Damages may be awarded in such amounts as necessary for the purposes of rebuilding, repairing, preserving and restoring such memorials or monuments to preencroachment condition. Damages other than those litigation costs recovered from any such action shall be used exclusively for said purposes.
B. Punitive damages may be recovered for reckless, willful or wanton conduct resulting in the defacement of, malicious destruction of, unlawful removal of, or placement of improper markings, monuments or statues on memorials for war veterans.
C. The party who initiates and prevails in an action authorized by this section shall be entitled to an award of the cost of the litigation, including reasonable attorney's fees. The provisions of this section shall not be construed to limit the rights of any person, organization, society, or museum to pursue any additional civil remedy otherwise allowed by law.
2000, c. 812.