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Armenian Genocide monument at Fresno State vandalized

Armenian Genocide monument at Fresno State vandalized

PanARMENIAN.Net - Three months after the unveiling of the Armenian Genocide monument at Fresno State, the structure has been vandalized, Fresno Bee reports.

“The souls of the victims are disturbed,” said Berj Apkarian, Honorary Consul of the Republic of Armenia in Fresno.

Someone yanked one of the panel from the monument last week, Apkarian said.

Fresno State said they’re investigating the tampering of the plaque. It was unbolted but not taken, and they said it will be re-installed this week.

“The panel had a lot of history,” Apkarian said. “It’s very heartbreaking and I’m so disappointed.”

“I am saddened by the recent vandalism attempt at our beautiful Armenian Genocide Memorial Monument,” said Joseph Castro, President of Fresno State. “I ask the campus and community to join together in protecting our historic monument.”

Apkarian plans to work with Castro and police to find out who vandalized the monument. The panel is made of Spanish steel, he said.

“This is a hate crime,” Apkarian said. “It must be taken very seriously, and it can’t be tolerated.”

The monument was unveiled in April to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of the Armenian Genocide.

“The monument has a symbolic and historic importance for the community,” Apkarian said. “The community must take steps to not tolerate such acts.”

The Armenian Genocide

The Armenian Genocide (1915-23) was the deliberate and systematic destruction of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire during and just after World War I. It was characterized by massacres and deportations, involving forced marches under conditions designed to lead to the death of the deportees, with the total number of deaths reaching 1.5 million.

The majority of Armenian Diaspora communities were formed by the Genocide survivors.

Present-day Turkey denies the fact of the Armenian Genocide, justifying the atrocities as “deportation to secure Armenians”. Only a few Turkish intellectuals, including Nobel Prize winner Orhan Pamuk and scholar Taner Akcam, speak openly about the necessity to recognize this crime against humanity.

The Armenian Genocide was recognized by Uruguay, Russia, France, Lithuania, Italy, 45 U.S. states, Greece, Cyprus, Lebanon, Argentina, Belgium, Austria, Wales, Switzerland, Canada, Poland, Venezuela, Chile, Bolivia, the Vatican, Luxembourg, Brazil, Germany, the Netherlands, Paraguay, Sweden, Venezuela, Slovakia, Syria, Vatican, as well as the European Parliament and the World Council of Churches.

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