By Lauren M. Johnson, NCS

The Hmong Cultural Center in Minneapolis is having to push again the opening of its expanded museum after vandals defaced the entrance of the constructing.

Mark Pfeifer, the director of programs for the middle, informed NCS he found the vandalism Wednesday.

“I saw it right away and my heart sank. It was so depressing,” he stated.

White paint coated the entrance of the museum and the new signal promoting the museum, which had simply come in after virtually a month of ready.

There had been additionally a couple of phrases stenciled into the paint, Pfeifer stated, that learn “life, liberty, and victory.”

Pfeifer stated they needed to order one other signal and they’re working with the constructing house owners on a cleanup plan, in addition to including additional safety.

“We’ve gotten racist emails and calls in the past, but nothing like a vandalism act like this,” he stated.

They did have some damaged home windows from a protest final yr, Pfeifer stated, however the injury was not particular to their constructing — a number of others on the block had injury as effectively.

Police are investigating and taking a look at safety footage, however Pfeifer stated the vandals had been carrying masks and caps, so it’s laborious to make out their options. He stated employees are hoping somebody witnessed the crime and might present some leads.

“It feels awful. I worked so hard, along with the staff, on this museum for the last couple years,” he stated. “All (the community) knows about us is this incident … and I’m just hoping in the end something positive will happen.”

The Hmong Cultural Center’s museum is the solely free-standing Hmong museum in the nation, in keeping with Pfeifer. The mission of the middle is to advertise cross-cultural understanding in Minnesota and nationwide.

The middle teaches about the tradition, historical past and the cultural contributions of Minnesota’s Hmong group. They include Sunisa Lee, the US gymnast who gained three Olympic medals in Tokyo.

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