Officers were called to the memorial, located at the corner of Booth and Wellington streets in downtown Ottawa, shortly after 4 p.m. Wednesday, a police spokesperson said told Global News.
On Thursday afternoon, Const. Amy Gagnon said she couldn’t confirm exactly when or how the monument was defaced. However, it appeared eggs had been smashed onto the monument.
Yellow smears were seen on the memorial’s walls and egg shells and yolks were on the ground.
Ottawa police Chief Peter Sloly called the incident “completely unacceptable” in a message posted to Twitter on Wednesday evening.
“Incidents such as this are deeply disturbing to many communities, especially when they target specific groups,” Sloly wrote.
“It will not be tolerated.”
Crews began cleaning the mess Wednesday night and were seen cleaning again Thursday morning.
In a news release on Thursday, the Toronto office of the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center said it was “horrified” by the incident and urged Ottawa police to “conduct a thorough investigation” to find the person responsible.
“It is very disturbing that someone would choose to deface a monument dedicated to the millions of men, women and children who were murdered in the Holocaust, especially in the same week as International Holocaust Remembrance Day during which we pay tribute to victims and vow to never allow such a tragedy to happen again,” president and CEO Avi Benlolo wrote.
“This is an insult to not only Holocaust victims, but also their families, Holocaust survivors and the Jewish community as a whole that to this day continues to be targeted by hate.”
News of the incident comes less than a week after the Ottawa Police Service formally announced it was re-establishing a centralized hate crime unit and adding additional resources to address hate crimes-related issues.
Police urge anyone with information about the incident to call 613-236-1222 ext. 5453 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.