A local council official reported to the Budapest city council and police on Tuesday that pig legs had been tied around the statue the statue of Raoul Wallenberg, a former Swedish diplomat who rescued tens of thousands of Jews in Hungary during WW2.
The 2nd district council of Budapest and the foreign ministry condemned the statue’s desecration in separate statements. The Human Resources Ministry also condemned the “nasty act”.
“Those desecrating the memorial of a man who risked his life to save tens of thousands of people during the Holocaust acted against European traditions, culture and order of values,” the ministry said.
Wallenberg, who rescued tens of thousands of Jews and a Righteous among the Nations, has become a symbol of humanity in Hungary and around the world, it added. The Hungarian government has declared 2012 Wallenberg year to mark the 100th anniversary of his birth, the ministry noted.
The main opposition Socialists also expressed condemnation of the “lowly act”, adding that it revealed extremist views were spreading in Hungary. Party leader Attila Mesterhazy said he would personally initiate the sanctioning of hate speech and certain actions inciting hatred.
Budapest police spokeswoman Judit Pap told MTI that proceedings had been initiated in connection with the case. Arrangements have been made to clean the memorial, the work of sculptor Imre Varga.