The Korean Comfort Women Peace Monument in Glendale, California was vandalized on Thursday. The unknown vandal smeared an unknown substance on the statue’s face. Additionally, the suspect broke several nearby pots, reports ABC 7. The memorial located at Glendale Central Park in the 200 block of Brand Boulevard was put in place in 2013 to commemorate World War II Korean comfort women. The statue was paid for and maintained by the Korean American Forum of California. Glendale police are asking the public with any information to contact them with any tips.
“We were extremely saddened and extremely shocked to learn that this has happened,” Phyllis Kim with the Korean American Forum told ABC 7. “That we want to make sure the message is that this is not acceptable and that we want to make sure that this does not happen again.”
Former Congressman Mike Honda said, “The kind of criminal act that was perpetrated on this statue is a strike against the symbol that this memorial represents.”
Glendale Mayor Ara Najarian told NBC, “The City Council supported the installation of the Comfort Women Peace Monument as a lasting tribute to the suffering of women and girls of many nationalities during World War II and to promote peace between all.
“The city of Glendale takes this incident very seriously and will take all measures to apprehend the perpetrators and hold them accountable in court.”
The 1100 pound metal statue shows a young Korean girl in a hanbok next to an empty chair. It pays honor to the Korean women who were forced into sex slavery by the Japanese Imperial Army during WW II. It is estimated that around 200,00 women were forced into brothels to serve Japanese men.
The statue faced opposition in 2014 by Glendale resident Michiko Gingery and the GAHT-US Corp, according to the Los Angeles Times. They filed a lawsuit claiming that Glendale overstepped its bounds. However, the suit was rejected by a U.S District Court.