Crowdfunding effort quickly raises €80,000 to restore glass monument to cancer victims
A crowdfunding effort to repair a monument made up of dozens of glass panels was launched on Wednesday. The monument in Dronten, which included the names of 20,000 people who died from cancer etched on the glass, was smashed by unknown vandals earlier in the week. No arrests have been made.
"The monument in the Wilhelminabos has been destroyed. Demolished, destroyed," said Norbert Dikkeboom, who initiated the crowdfunding campaign for the KWF cancer foundation. "A huge blow to the relatives, who could read the name of their loved one here again. A token; a memorial. And above all a terrible act."
Dikkeboom's father was one of the names printed on one of the 67 glass panels, of which 65 were destroyed. He pleaded with the public to help fix the monument quickly. The first step is to remove all the shards of glass, before restoring the current memorial, or realizing a new monument in another form, he said.
Dikkeboom also told Omroep Flevoland about the impact of the memorial, and the comfort it provided. "My father died of lung cancer and was given a place in the woods and on the monument. So when I walked there, my breath was really taken away. When you walk to the entrance you can already see pieces of glass. That brings a lot of emotion."
The crowdfunding target is set at 200,000 euros. The municipality of Dronten and the Province of Flevoland will each contribute 15,000 euros to the project, Omroep Flevoland reported.
The KWF has filed a criminal report about the vandalism, police said. Several tips about the incident were already reported to investigators.