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Mural Dedicated to Holocaust Victims in Milan Vandalized after Holocaust Memorial Day

A mural dedicated to Holocaust victims in Milan was vandalized on Wednesday, a day after Yom HaShoah. 

As part of the “Track 21, The Simpsons deported to Auschwitz” series by artist AleXsandro Palombo, the mural had been displayed on the walls of the Memorial of the Shoah since January 27th, International Day of Remembrance. 

The artwork, which portrays the Simpson family in Nazi concentration camps, aims to raise awareness of the atrocities committed during the Holocaust and the importance of remembering them.

The vandalized mural was defaced with black marks and the yellow Stars of David, representing the Auschwitz uniforms worn by the characters, were painted over.

Security cameras at the museum captured the perpetrator’s face. The act of vandalism has sparked outrage among the community, with many condemning the desecration of the artwork and the disrespect shown towards Holocaust victims.

“We will proceed in the next few days to verify the footage from the cameras trying to identify the person responsible,” the President of the Foundation Memorial of the Shoah in Milan, Roberto Jarach said in a statement. “What worries us is to see in this act a possible revisionist an antisemitic tendency. What we hope is that the rest of the citizenry will respond with its opposite, with solidarity and empath, demonstrating that the fight against indifference is the key to overcoming racist and anti-democratic tendencies.

“For us, this is a stimulus to work even more, especially with young people, better, with ever great creativity. We hope that the artist will come back to ‘fix’ the work, or expand it, as a further response.”

Palombo explained that the murals are intended to be a universal language that promotes memory and awareness of the Holocaust’s horrors. 

He expressed his disappointment at the vandalism, stating that the black marks covering the yellow stars are reminiscent of attempts to censor and distort Holocaust history.

“Confronting antisemitism is always disgusting, which is the case here. However, if the racist’s goal was to diminish Holocaust commemoration, I judge that they failed,” Jeffrey Demsky, professor in the History department and Political Science at San Bernardino Valley College and expert in American cultural representations of the Holocaust. “Blacking out the Stars of David, identifying Jews as the Nazis’ specific targets only confirm this fact. The vandal’s pen mark unintentionally forces onlookers to remember the truth of the missing yellow identity label.

“Similarly, desecrating the artist’s mural and public space that welcomes it only bolsters the memorialization’s importance. Graffiti takes on power by marring important structures and images. Targeting a national Holocaust memorial demonstrates that these criminals nonetheless recognize its enduring significance in Western liberal societies.”

Authorities are investigating the incident and working to bring the perpetrators to justice.

The Foundation Memorial of the Shoah in Milan has been visited by over 90,000 people since the beginning of January 2023, and 42,000 of the visitors were students.

Source: https://www.jpost.com/diaspora/antisemitism/article-739766