A minor was arrested after the fire on Saturday March 9 of a paper work at the Vannes Museum of Fine Arts and will be judged in March, the city prosecutor announced to AFP on Wednesday. An eight-meter-long strip of paper, part of a monumental work commissioned by the city from the artist Salomé Fauc for an exhibition at the Musée de la Cohue, had been completely destroyed by the flames.

For Fabien Le Guernevé, first deputy at Vannes town hall and responsible for culture, “there is no doubt that it is a voluntary act, we see it very clearly on the video surveillance”.

“Thanks to the efficiency and a very active investigation by the police, a minor was arrested Tuesday morning, placed in police custody, then referred (Wednesday) morning to the prosecution,” indicated the public prosecutor, Maxime Antier.

The suspect, who “recognized a voluntary gesture, without political connotation”, was “placed under judicial supervision by the judge of freedoms”, he said. He “will be presented on March 22 to the children’s court” and faces up to ten years of imprisonment for “destruction by fire” of a work of art, said the prosecutor.

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This heavy sentence is justified in the Penal Code by the use of a “means capable of creating a danger for people”. Destruction without incendiary means is punishable by a maximum two-year prison sentence, according to the Penal Code. This is a “gratuitous act of vandalism”, the town hall denounced to AFP on Saturday.

Entitled And like a blue earthenware, the work of Salomé Fauc exhibited at the Musée de la Cohue was composed of several strips of paper. When it caught fire, the targeted strip burned very quickly but fortunately the fire did not spread to neighboring strips or to the wooden frame of the museum. However, the establishment had to be evacuated due to smoke.