Three arrested after AIDS memorial desecrated by vandals

Nick Duffy January 9, 2017
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Two men have been charged after a memorial to victims of the AIDS crisis in Manchester was damaged.

The Beacon of Hope memorial in Manchester’s Sackville Gardens is one of the only permanent memorials in the UK to the thousands who lost their lives during the AIDS crisis.

The monument, at the heart of Manchester’s Gay Village, was targeted by vandals overnight on Sunday.

According to the Manchester Evening News, memorial tiles were smashed, while photographs laid in memory of the deceased appear to have been burnt.

Three men, aged 22, 23, and 33, were arrested in connection with the incident, which police are not treating as a hate crime.

Two of the men have been charged with criminal damage, while a third remains in custody.

A spokesperson for Greater Manchester Police confirmed: “At about 1:15 AM on January 8, police were called to Sackville Gardens in Manchester city centre, to a report that the tribute tiles placed on the Beacon of Hope monument had been damaged.

“Officers attended and three men aged 22, 23, and 33 were arrested on suspicion of criminal damage.

“Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.”

The monument opened in 2000. Despite a number of memorials around the world dedicated to the AIDS crisis, it is the only such public monument in the UK. Campaigners in London recently called for a permanent memorial to be built.

The two men are set to appear in magistrates court on January 24.

More: AIDS, England, Gay, HIV, LGBT, Manchester, memorial

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