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Memorial to comfort women in Glendale defaced with black marker

The Korean Comfort Women Peace Monument in Glendale’s Central Park on Monday after it was vandalized by an unknown person who used a black permanent marker to scrawl all over the statute.
The Korean Comfort Women Peace Monument in Glendale’s Central Park on Monday after it was vandalized by an unknown person who used a black permanent marker to scrawl all over the statue.
(Tim Berger / Glendale News-Press)

An unknown vandal used a black permanent marker to deface a Glendale statue honoring women who were forced into sex slavery by the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II, according to police.

The statue, which depicts a seated young woman wearing traditional Korean clothing, was covered head to toe in haphazard scribbles. No legible writing appeared to be on the statue.

The defacement was discovered Monday morning by a city employee who routinely checks on the memorial in Central Park, according to Glendale Police Department spokesman Sgt. Dan Suttles.

In addition to the markings on the statue, several flower pots around the memorial were upended. Suttles said a special cleaning agent will need to be used to remove the markings so as to not damage the copper-based statue.

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He said the defacement is being investigated by the department, and detectives were able to obtain surveillance video of the suspect.

“Although it’s not exactly clear or the best quality,” Suttles said.

This is the second reported incident where the statue was defaced. In July, an unknown person smeared a brown substance on the memorial and shattered several surrounding flower pots.

Suttles said the park’s staff has mentioned previous instances where the memorial was tampered with, but it wasn’t until the incident in July when it rose to the level that required police involvement.

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The statue has been in Glendale since 2013 and acts as a memorial to the estimated 200,000 women from Korea, China, Indonesia and other countries occupied by the Japanese Imperial Army who were forced into sex slavery during World War II.

The Comfort Women Action for Redress and Education designed and provided funding for the memorial to be placed in Glendale.

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