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Draft Letter To Michael Lash, Chicago Arts Council

Posted by parhad on September 09, 2001 at 11:40:25:

Michael Lash, Director
Public Arts Program
Office Of Cultural Affairs
Chicago, IL

Dear Michael,

Here I come again. The Monument of Sumuramat has yet to be installed anywhere. I believe, and many in our community feel, that Chicago is the rightful location. I’m sure you appreciate my frustration at having the project blocked as it was after laboring at it for 13 years. I recall your own frustration and that of your most patient staff as a succession of people tried to work this thing through.

I am being told by Assyrians around the country , in Europe and Australia, that our monument has to be installed in Chicago, over the threats and protests of only one man... That we simply can’t back away like this. I am glad to hear this from them. It took some time for this news to spread and the incredible facts to be digested. I understand that the city of Chicago will not move forward so long as John Nimrod maintains his threat of a lawsuit. But my suit against him was settled out of court long ago, so whatever the “linkage” was, is gone now.

In a recent speech here in California, when asked about the statue, John replied that the statue can go wherever the Mayor says it can. He still insists that some day he will sit down with your Mayor over a cup of coffee and get the site he wants, wherever that is. I know this is absurd, and so do you and so do the rest of us, as would anyone else who heard him say it. But that’s just the point…is there no way to move beyond this situation, to address our needs as a community, our need to show our children some pride in their current Heritage, to teach others of our existence, to vindicate the trust all those donors had starting so many years ago, to reinvigorate our community so we may create other projects to address our many needs?

Would a petition drive help? Would letters to the Arts Council do any good? Can you help us understand what can be done to convince you to move forward on a project so many of us have waited so long to see completed, which has been stalled in such an outrageous way by only one man?


Fred Parhad

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