ARMENIAN GENOCIDE COMMEMORATIVE BILLBOARD REMOVED FROM THE MBTA PROPERTY IN BOSTON -
BOSTON - Just about one week before the 99th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, Peace of Art was notified by Clear Channel that the Armenian Genocide commemorative billboard, which has been on display at Lechmere Station in Cambridge, MA, had to be removed. It seems that this year, an anonymous entity has deemed the message on the billboard to be of a political nature. “Recognize the Crime of the Century, the Armenian Genocide,” is the message which was deemed to be political and thus required to be removed from the MBTA property. However, the 2013 message read “Honoring the memory of 1.5 million lives lost, Armenian Genocide. Recognition and condemnation” was displayed on the same location without incident, offered by the billboard company.
Peace of Art, Inc., is a non-profit educational organization registered with the Massachusetts Secretary of State, and tax exempt under section 501 (C) 3. Our projects consist on bringing awareness to the human condition, such as hunger, homelessness, deportation, etc. One of our projects is to sponsor billboards to bring awareness to genocide. Since 2003 Peace of ART, Inc., has sponsored the Armenian Genocide commemorative billboards calling for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide. The human suffering and the impact on its survivors and descendants lives on. We are not a political organization, we are not associated with political organizations, and we do not issue political opinions, beyond stating that genocide is a crime against humanity. Our focus is the global human condition.
Clear Channel, the billboard company, informed Peace of Art, Inc. that it classified the billboard message as a political awareness message, “one of two sides of an issue“ and it was required to remove the billboard located at Lechmere Station and offered to place the billboard in one of two unsold locations in Cambridge. Therefore, for the remaining of the month of April, the Armenian Genocide commemorative billboard can be seen on Massachusetts Avenue, Walden street in Cambridge.
Daniel Varoujan Hejinian, the president of Peace of Art, Inc., stated that the removal is unjust and unjustified. He further stated that “it doesn’t matter how many sides an issue has, the truth has only one side. The Armenian Genocide is recognized by twenty one countries and forty two states of the Union including Massachusetts.”