BERLIN -- A memorial dedicated to Roma and Sinti victims of the Holocaust was unveiled in the center of the German capital Wednesday after years of delay caused by a dispute between the artist and the city over costs and design.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel inaugurated the new monument, joined by President Joachim Gauck and dozens of Roma survivors of World War II. The memorial features a small pedestal jutting out from the center of a round pool of water on which a fresh flower is to be placed daily. A poem titled "Auschwitz," by Italian Santino Spinelli, is engraved around the pool's rim, which is circled by jagged stones laid in the grass.
The memorial, designed by Israeli artist Dani Karavan, is in the Tiergarten, Berlin's largest urban park, which lies across the street from the Reichstag, the German Parliament building.
The exact number of Roma, also known as Gypsies, killed in the Holocaust is unknown, but experts estimate that up to 500,000 could have died. The Nazis deemed the Roma racially inferior and shipped them to concentration camps, where many were killed and subjected to medical experiments.