The Wall Las Memorias, the first publicly funded AIDS monument in the nation, was recently vandalized, reports Frontiers news editor Karen Ocamb.
Someone damaged a portion of the monument with yellow paint, which is located in Lincoln Park in East L.A. The brainchild of activist Richard Zaldivar, The Wall Las Memorias is part of an ongoing, AIDS education project that reaches out to the Latino community.
Designed as a Quetzalcoatl serpent (an Aztec symbol for rebirth), The Wall Las Memorias has several wall panels, two of which have the names of people who died from AIDS. New names are etched into the wall each year.
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Zaldivar also founded an organization called The Wall Las Memorias, which provides AIDS education and prevention programs for the Latino community.
Zaldivar told Ocamb: "The vandalism was done to the section of the AIDS mural that depicts a child saying, 'I once knew a child with AIDS.' And so it is really sad and very troubling that someone would use this opportunity to damage a piece of art that was created for the purpose HIV prevention and education to our community."
The activist says he hopes the vandalism will provide an opportunity for community members to address various safety issues at Lincoln Park.
Contact Patrick Range McDonald at firstname.lastname@example.org.