A 16-year-old boy and a 15-year-old boy have been arrested and charged for allegedly damaging five Holocaust statues at a Jewish museum in Oklahoma.
The statues, which are made out of wire, are designed to look like children, indicative of the several young lives lost during World War II. Also, several stones carrying hundreds of names of children who died during this period are placed inside the statues.
The stones were said to have been decorated by kids who visit the museum occasionally to pay tribute to children who lost their lives during the world war.
This they do by writing the name of a child killed on one side of the statue and then writing the child’s age on another side.
According to the executive director of the museum, Drew Diamond, the statues are kept in a place open to the public, that is the park area of the museum.
This ease of access is what prompted and allowed the two teenagers to vandalize the statues.
“The two suspects came through the park area and destroyed the five statues,” reported Lt. William White from the Tulsa Police Department.
The two teenagers were reported to have been trying to bend the metal statues in a bid to make them fall, and the end result is very bad.
The executive director of the museum has said the statues cannot be repaired, as they are badly damaged. Instead, they will have to rebuild them from scratch, which will necessitate the museum forking out a lot of money.
“These unique pieces of art have been specially handcrafted, but, now, they will have to be remade because of the way they were bent.
The wireframes have been destroyed,” said Drew in his briefing to ABC News.
Video surveillance from the museum has also shown the two boys attempting to steal the statues, an attempt at which they failed.
Even worse, the boys had allegedly threatened someone with a knife before coming to the museum, but nobody was hurt.
Meanwhile, the Tulsa Police Department has taken to their Facebook page to confirm that both boys have been apprehended.
Also, they have been charged with assault with a deadly weapon and felony vandalism, confirmed the police.
However, they will not be releasing the identify if the two suspects to the public, due to them being underage.
“For those inquiring about charging with a Hate Crime, it is only a misdemeanor,” the police clarified. “They were charged with a higher crime felony vandalism.”
The police added that the technical terms for the two boys’ offences are ‘destruction of property and malicious injury’.
Meanwhile, the damages caused by the teens have been estimated to be around $15,000, just as the executive director of the museum, Drew Donald had hinted earlier.
However, he pointed out how it is impossible to put a price on something as invaluable as the statues, which have contributed greatly to the community’s educational work around the holocaust.
What are your thoughts on this costly destruction of educational properties? Do let us know what you think in the comments section below.