In Avignon, the prefecture erases the anti-Semitic fresco representing Emmanuel Macron as Pinocchio

After a lively controversy and against the opinion of the socialist mayor of the City of the Popes who, in the name of respect for freedom of expression, wanted to keep it, the graffiti, signed by a certain Lekto, disappeared from the car park of Italians where it was painted. The case might not stop there.

A street-art fresco painted in Avignon and representing the economist Jacques Attali as a puppeteer who manipulates an Emmanuel Macron made up as Pinocchio, widely denounced as anti-Semitic, was erased on Friday morning June 24, confirmed the prefecture and the community of agglomeration of Greater Avignon to AFP.

“Following the emotional reactions and the growing controversy aroused by the fresco of the graffiti artist Lekto located in the parking lot of the Italians in Avignon, the prefect of Vaucluse exchanged yesterday with the president of Grand Avignon, owner of the place, in order to agree to the deletion of this fresco. This operation was carried out this very morning.said the prefecture in an email to AFP.

“Faced with the very many reactions aroused by the fresco by street artist Lekto, suddenly the subject of a controversy widely relayed by social networks, the Community of Greater Avignon has, since yesterday afternoon , took the decision to cover the facade of the building concerned which belongs to it”, had a few moments earlier announced in a press release the Avignon agglomeration. The fresco had already been partially covered, anonymously, on the night of Thursday June 23 to Friday June 24, recalled Grand Avignon.

Strong reactions on social networks

Since Wednesday June 22, this mural painted on an electrical transformer at the north-eastern entrance to Avignon had provoked strong reactions on social networks, several Internet users and Jewish associations denouncing its anti-Semitic character, as revealed by France Bleu .

The Jewish Defense League explained on local radio that all the anti-Semitic symbols were present on the fresco: “The Jewish and influential personality (here Jacques Attali), the worrying gaze and the hands that operate puppets to make people understand that the Jews rule the world.»

“You really have to never have opened a history book not to see how this image takes up all the codes of anti-Semitic propaganda and fascist iconography. Refusing to erase it in the name of freedom of expression is a scandal”notably reacted the MEP Raphaël Glucksmann on the social network Twitter.

According France BlueGrand Avignon and the town hall of Avignon, directed by the socialist Cécile Helle, initially refused to cover the fresco in order to “respect freedom of expression”. They would have finally changed their minds in the face of “the insistence of the prefect”, said the local radio. Contacted by AFP, the town hall of Avignon did not react on Friday.

“As usual the problem is people who don’t see the problem”tweeted the designer Joann Sfar, in particular author of the Rabbi’s Cat. “The interpretation of this fresco leaves little doubt. The figure of the Jewish banker manipulating his puppets is a recurring representation of anti-Semites. Anti-Semitism is that plague bacillus that always reappears. No weakness is tolerable”also tweeted the first secretary of the PS, Olivier Faure.

Contacted by AFP, the Avignon prosecutor’s office did not wish to comment on this case, nor confirm or deny the possible opening of legal proceedings.

SEE ALSO – “There is a whole history of anti-Semitism which, in the 19th century, was born on the left”, recalls Renaud Dély

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