Vandals desecrate Athens Holocaust memorial

The monument has been targeted at least twice before


Authorities in Athens have "strongly condemned" the vandalism of the city's Holocaust memorial, during which an inscription of words written by Elie Wiesel were torn from the monument.

The memorial, in a small park in the centre of the Greek capital, was unveiled in 2010 to commemorate more than 60,000 Greek Jews killed during the Second World War. It was designed by Greek American artist DeAnna Maganias and carried an inscription written specifically for the site by Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor and Nobel Prize winner.

The 15-line inscription - inviting visitors to "Pause awhile as you pass by, close your eyes and remember" - appeared in Greek, French and English on a plaque at the entrance to the park. However on Saturday night, the vandals prised away the parts of the plaque featuring two of the languages, leaving only the English.

Minor Moisis, the President of the Jewish community of Athens, said: “Elie Wiesel's appeal to the passer-by to stand, to remember, to honor the victims of the Holocaust was turned into an act of vandalism, disrespect, insult."

Mr Moisis called upon the city of Athens to restore the pieces that had been removed and noted that it was not the first time that the monument had been desecrated. There were at least two other acts of vandalism in 2014, when threats against the Jewish community were spray-painted on the monument.

Athens city officials condemned the vandalism and agreed that it would repair the memorial. Officials said that Athens "remains a city respecting freedom and history".

Mr Moisis added: "The vandals will never win."

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