After the demolishing of its Holocaust memorial, PixelHelper ordered to remove Moroccan flag

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The PixelHelper property in Ait Faska. / DR

German NGO PixelHelper, known for attempting to build North Africa’s first Holocaust Memorial in Morocco, denounced the recent decisions taken by the caid of a small commune that hosts its property near Marrakech.

In a statement sent Monday to Yabiladi, the founder and president of the NGO Oliver Bienkowski said that the local authorities in Ait Faska have ordered him to «remove the Moroccan flags hoisted on top» of his property in the small village.

He further argued that he was also urged to remove a set of bird boxes that his NGO built to host birds within the PixelHelper property. The German guerilla-artist protested against the decision in his statement, wondering «where is in the Moroccan law that you cannot hoist Moroccan flags on your own property [sic] ?»

In the same statement, the NGO referred to its former projects in Ait Faska that were demolished earlier this year by the authorities, which cited the lack of necessary authorizations.

However, authorities in the Ait Faska commune had a different version to the story, stressing that indeed «removing the flags was not an arbitrary decision». «We have asked the German NGO to remove the Moroccan flags on its property because they looked ripped and torn apart (…) which is offensive to Morocco and its flag», local authorities told Yabiladi on Tuesday.

Regarding the NGO’s bird boxes, the village’s authorities stressed that the association must have prior «authorizations» to build «other installations». While Bienkowski accuses local authorities of «harassing» him, they told Yabiladi they «have nothing against the NGO, but prior authorizations are needed».

For the record, the NGO’s property in Ait Faska made headlines earlier this year after its founder announced that he was building a memorial to honor Jews who died in concentration camps, including the ones who belonged to the LGBTQ+ community. Following this announcement, PixelHelper’s Holocaust memorial was demolished by the local authorities who said that the German artist and activist did not have the permits needed for such venues.

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