YEREVAN (Armenpress)–A memorial in Wales, dedicated to the 1.5 million Armenia’s massacred in the 1915 Genocide was vandalized ahead of a service for all the victims of genocide, news reports from Wales, UK, said Sunday.
The memorial in the Temple of Peace, Cathays, Cardiff, made of sandstone and Welsh slate, was struck with a sledgehammer on Saturday night, smashing the cross off it. The sledgehammer used to damage the monument was found close to the scene Sunday.
Sunday was Holocaust Memorial Day in Wales. The service went ahead as planned, despite the vandalism and protests.
Many people at the service yesterday were close to tears when they saw what had happened, said Caerphilly Councilor Ray Davies, who campaigned for the Armenian monument to be erected.
"The desecration of the monument reminds us that we must always be vigilant against racism and hatred which is never far from the surface," he said.
"It was particularly saddening for the Armenia’s present that this happened on the day of the Holocaust Memorial Day. This service wasn’t specific to the Armenia’s. We were trying to be all-inclusive about all those historical events where people have been massacred," said Director of the Welsh Center for International Affairs Stephen Thomas. "It wasn’t very helpful in terms of trying to create a bridge and links between Turkey and Armenia that this was carried out. People were upset when they turned up and saw what had happened."
The Turkish community released an official statement condemning the action and Hal Savas, a member of Committee for the Protection of Turkish Rights, was present at the service.
"Whoever has done it should be ashamed of themselves," Savas said. "We would condemn any damage done to any religious monument."
The memorial was unveiled in November to remember all the Armenia’s murdered by Ottoman Turks between 1915 and 1923. Members of the Turkish community protested the erection of the memorial.