BY TOMAS KASSAHUN
From The Fresno Bee
FRESNO—Three months after the unveiling of the Armenian genocide monument at Fresno State, the structure has been vandalized.
“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 Friday, 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, Apkarian 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.”