A sculpture that will be placed in the heart of Copenhagen in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide threatens to further derail the already-strained relations between Denmark and Turkey, The Local Denmark reports.
The nine-metre high sculpture, entitled ‘The Draem’ (Danish Remembrance Armenian Empathy Messenger), is to be placed in the square Kultorvet for ten days in May to mark 100 years since upwards of 1.5 million Armenians were killed by the Ottoman regime.
The plans have elicited a protest from the Turkish Embassy in Copenhagen.
“We are disappointed that a sculpture that describes the actions of 1915 as a genocide will be displayed in one of Copenhagen’s large squares,” the embassy wrote in an email to Politiken, adding that the sculpture is “morally indefensible”.
While the European Parliament, a UN sub-committee and more than 20 countries worldwide recognize the killings as a genocide, Denmark does not.
“The Danish government does not keep silent about the tragic events of 1915 but has not officially acknowledged the events as genocide. Our opinion is that that distinction is better left to historians,” Foreign Minister Martin Lidegaard told Politiken.
Lidegaard declined to comment specifically on the sculpture, but Copenhagen city officials did not.
The city’s deputy mayor for culture, the Danish People’s Party’s Carl Christian Ebbesen, said Turkey should stay out of local decisions.
“Turkey should completely stay out of what we do in Copenhagen and what sort of freedoms of expression and freedoms of art that we have,” Ebbesen told Politiken.