A controversial billboard in Boston, USA has been pulled down after complaints that it was denying the Armenian genocide on Wednesday.
The billboard, which had shown three hands - one bearing the Turkish flag making the peace sign, surrounded by two hands with Russian and Armenian flags with crossed fingers under the heading “Truth = Peace” - was pulled after less than 24 hours. It had also said it was “proudly paid for by the Turkic Platform, Istanbul”.
A spokesperson for the billboard owners said “the ad was placed there in error”.
Armenian community leaders criticised the billboard, with the regional director of the Anti-Defamation League Robert Trestan stating, “This billboard denying the Armenian Genocide is no different and just as offensive as one denying the Holocaust”.
James Kalustian, president of the Armenian Heritage Foundation in Massachusetts, said putting the billboard by the nearby Armenian Heritage Park, “is absolutely reprehensible”.
“First reaction was outrage,” says Mr Kalustian. “It was hate speech against historical fact. The UN Human Rights Commission and scholars across the globe have recognized the genocide.”
“One of the main reasons genocide continues is the fact that it is not acknowledged, and denial is one of the primary reasons why genocide continues today.”
Also see our earlier post:
Starbucks apologises for 'offensive' Armenian posters (21 Feb 2015)