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Anne Frank monument defaced with ‘Gaza’ graffiti in Amsterdam

By Benjamin Brown and Teele Rebane, CNN

(CNN) — A statue of Anne Frank in Amsterdam was vandalized with “Gaza” graffiti, drawing criticism from the city’s mayor.

Photos show the word “Gaza” scrawled in red paint across the podium of the statue, which was erected in a park close to where Frank and her family lived before being forced into hiding. It shows her wearing several layers of clothing as the family worried that carrying suitcases would arouse suspicion.

Mayor Femke Halsema fiercely condemned the defacing of the memorial, saying, “No Palestinian has been helped by smearing her so precious statue.”

“This young girl, who was so brutally murdered by the Nazis at the age of 15, reminds us and our city every day of humanity and gentleness, in the most difficult circumstances,” Halsema posted on Instagram.

“Whoever it was, shame on you! There is no excuse for this,” she added.

Amsterdam police have opened an investigation into the incident. No one has yet been arrested.

A police spokesperson told CNN Wednesday that police received a report of vandalism on Tuesday afternoon. “Officers went to the statue, saw the graffiti and started an investigation,” the spokesperson said.

Anne Frank’s diary is often many young people’s first introduction to the horrors of the Holocaust. In 1944, the famous diarist and seven other Jewish people hiding in the Amsterdam secret annex were detained.

They had hid for nearly two years in a secret annex above a canal-side warehouse in Amsterdam, before they were deported and Anne died in the Bergen Belsen camp at age 15.

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