Two staff of Sofia Opera have been fired and kicked off a tour of Japan for daubing graffiti with the name of a Bulgarian football club on a wall at a memorial to the dead of the Hiroshima atomic bomb blast.
The director of Sofia Opera and Ballet, Plamen Kartalov, had confirmed this, Bulgarian National Television reported on October 17.
Japanese police are investigating. The monument was daubed with graffiti including the name of a football club from the Bulgarian capital, “Loko Sofia”. Written on the wall in Cyrillic script, this refers to the Lokomotiv 1929 Sofia football club.
Sofia Opera is currently on a tour of Japan, from October 1 to 18, which includes productions of Carmen and Turandot.
Kartalov said that he did not know the reason for the attack on the monument.
He said that the two would have to answer personally for this. “The police will deal with them and then we’ll see what we’re going to do, but we have decided, they are removed from the staff of the opera.”
He said that the opera company had no personal guilt for the behaviour of the two, adding: “I know that I am very ashamed for the sake of some Bulgarians who have nothing to do with Bulgaria”.
Earlier, the daubing of the monument was strongly condemned by Bulgaria’s Foreign Ministry, which offered its apologies to Japan.
The daubing also was condemned in an October 17 statement by the leadership of the Lokomotiv Sofia football club.