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Installation that celebrates Denver's historic Chinatown has been stolen

The group behind the installations say they don't know why it was taken but they are happy to accept it, no questions asked, and are raising money for a replacement.
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Posted at 3:27 PM, Feb 15, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-15 23:50:21-05

DENVER — One of the three tall wooden historical installations that mark the place of Denver's once vibrant Chinatown has been stolen.

Denver's Chinatown used to stand where modern-day Lower Downtown (LoDo) is.

Local nonprofit Colorado Asian Pacific United (CAPU) has been working to reclaim the history of the area. They say following an anti-Chinese race riot in 1880, rampant racism, and federal legislation at the time that targeted Chinese immigrants, Chinatown eventually disappeared.

A years-long effort to celebrate the history of the area ended with a mural and several wooden historical markers placed around the area where Chinatown used to stand.

In December, CAPU noticed the marker at 16th and Wazee was completely gone. Only its metal base remained.

"It took us a few years to even get to the point of installing them. But if you think about it in the grand scheme of things since the 1880s, it's been over 100 years of that history that has been forgotten. So it actually was something that was in the works, you could argue, for several decades," said Joie Ha, the Executive Director at Colorado Asian Pacific United. "Even though we don't know how it happened, it does feel in some ways, like a additional erasure of our history and culture, which we've been trying so hard to reclaim. And let people know, you know, that Chinese migrants, were here at the very beginning, and we've been here and we will continue to be here."

Ideally, CAPU would like the marker returned, no questions asked.

They have launched a fundraising effort to pay for a replacement. You can support that cause by clicking here.

Installation that celebrates Denver's historic Chinatown has been stolen

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