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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Vandals Destroy Monument

Angry scavengers ruined a monument to the victims of political repressions just days after its unveiling after failing to find any non-ferrous metals in it, a news report said Wednesday.

The Stele of Grief, built with the help of city funds and private donations, was unveiled in the Ural Mountains city of Ufa on Saturday, Interfax said. In front of the tall granite monument was a sculpture of a woman with a child in her arms.

The figure was initially meant to be cast in bronze, but since the artist had no time to finish it, a temporary copy made of bronze-colored plaster was put up temporarily. Metal thieves who learned about the secret too late apparently got angry and smashed the whole memorial composition to pieces, the report said.

The hunt for non-ferrous metals is widespread in Russia and other ex-Soviet republics, where scavengers often dismantle parts of industrial installations, railways and monuments to obtain the metal. It is then sold to private companies dealing in scrap metal.

Authorities in Ufa , 1,200 kilometers southeast of Moscow, launched a search for the vandals.