De Gaulle statue vandalised in Northern France

4 months ago 34
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Statue dedicated to former president of France General Charles de Gaulle, after it was vandalised with paint: ...Read More

LILE ( FRANCE): A bust of France's wartime resistance leader and later president Charles de Gaulle has been vandalised in northern France, local officials said Monday, prompting

outrage

from right-wing politicians.
The bust of de Gaulle in the northern town of

Hautmont

near the Belgian border was splashed with bright orange paint and the back of its pedestal daubed with the slogan "slaver".
The act comes as statues are being toppled and removed globally amid worldwide anti-racism protests in the wake of the death in US police custody of

George Floyd

.
President

Emmanuel Macron

said in an address to the

nation

on Sunday that France would not erase "a trace" of its history and vowed it would not remove statues of its historical figures.
De Gaulle is seen as a national hero in France for resisting the Nazi occupation while in exile before himself becoming head of state in 1958. Slavery was abolished throughout France in 1848.
The local mayor Joel Wilmotte told AFP the statue had already been cleaned, denouncing the vandalism as "scandalous".
The head of the regional council for northern France, the prominent right-wing politician and former minister

Xavier Bertrand

, said the act was particularly outrageous coming days ahead Thursday of the 80th anniversary of de Gaulle's 1940 call on the French to keep fighting.
"At a time when we must remember that General de Gaulle kept the Resistance flame alive, the vandalisation of this statue in Hautmont is scandalous," he said, demanding that the perpetrators be punished.
Local MP

Sebastien Chenu

added: "The French, and even more its political leaders, must always remember that it is largely thanks to him that France could be liberated when everything seemed lost

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