Ten People On Trial For Vandalising The Arc De Triomphe

TEN PEOPLE on trial for vandalising the Arc de Triomphe during 2018 riots

Ten people, including women, have gone on trial in Paris on Monday, March 22 for ransacking the Art de Triomphe during the 2018 Yellow Vest protests. The suspects, from Paris, Brittany, Aquitaine and Paca, are accused of vandalising artworks such as Genius of the Fatherland, the woman with the Phrygian cap and Allegory of Liberty, while also damaging numerous pillars and looting the shops within. None of the suspects have criminal records; in fact, most of them had no prior dealings with the police.

“It is clear that the instigators, even the main perpetrators of the facts, could not be identified,” the judge said at the beginning of the trial, and conceded that “a large number of individuals” contributed to the €1 million in damages.

For their part, the accused deny having any part in the riots or causing damage and claim they were caught up in the violence and were taking refuge in the Arc.

Defence lawyer for two of the young accused, Noémie Saidi-Cottier, said that two years after the event when emotions are not running so high, the judge will see that her clients weren’t the main perpetrators of the event.

“We have the feeling that they were paying for the others, for everything that had happened,” she said.

She hopes that “the judges will know how to put things into perspective and see who they have in front of them”.

The trial, which is expected to last all week, seeks to convict the protesters for illegally meeting in a historic monument, breaking and entering, attempting to break a door with a fire extinguisher, damaging a statue and pillars and stealing some 300 postcards.


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Written by

Sarah Keane

Former teacher and health services manager with a Degree in English, Sarah moved to Spain from Southern Ireland with her husband, who runs his own car rental business, in 2019. She is now enjoying a completely different pace and quality of life on the Costa Blanca South, with wonderful Spanish and expat friends in Cabo Roig. Sarah began working with Euro Weekly News in 2020 and loves nothing more than bringing all the latest national and international news to her local community.