Genocide Commemorative Billboard Removed from MBTA Property in Cambridge

Clear Channel has classified the billboard as a political awareness message—"one of two sides of an issue"—and removed the billboard located at Lechmere Station.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Just about one week before the 99th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, Peace of Art was notified by Clear Channel that the Armenian Genocide commemorative billboard, which had been on display at Lechmere Station had to be removed. It seems that this year, an anonymous entity has deemed the message on the billboard, “Recognize the Crime of the Century, the Armenian Genocide,”  to be political and thus required to be removed from the MBTA property. However, the 2013 message read “Honoring the memory of 1.5 million lives lost, Armenian Genocide. Recognition and condemnation” was displayed on the same location without incident, offered by the billboard company.

 Peace of Art, Inc., is a non-profit educational organization registered with the Massachusetts Secretary of State, and tax exempt under section 501 (C) 3.  One of its projects is to sponsor billboards to bring awareness to the Armenian Genocide.  Since 2003 Peace of ART, Inc., has sponsored the Armenian Genocide commemorative billboards calling for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

Clear Channel, the billboard company, informed Peace of Art, Inc. that it classified the billboard message as a political awareness message, “one of two sides of an issue” and it was required to remove the billboard located at Lechmere Station and offered to place the billboard in one of two unsold locations in Cambridge.  Therefore, for the remainder of the month of April, the Armenian Genocide commemorative billboard can be seen on the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and Walden street in Cambridge.

Daniel Varoujan Hejinian, the president of Peace of Art, Inc., stated that the removal is unjust and unjustified.  He further stated that “it doesn’t matter how many sides an issue has, the truth has only one side.  The Armenian Genocide is recognized by 21 countries and 42 states including Massachusetts.”