Emmanuel Macron “condemned” on Monday “the act of vandalism” which occurred the day before at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, where the controversial work of Miriam Cahn was sprayed with paint by an individual who acted alone, the president denouncing an attack ” to our values. “On this May 8, when we celebrate the victory of freedom, I condemn the act of vandalism committed yesterday at the Palais de Tokyo”, tweeted the head of state, who was to pay tribute to Jean Moulin and the Resistance. , Monday in Lyon, after the traditional Victory Ceremony against Nazi Germany at the Arc de Triomphe.

“To attack a work is to attack our values. In France, art is always free and respect for cultural creation is guaranteed,” added the president. Entitled Fuck abstraction!, the work by Swiss artist Miriam Cahn, exhibited since mid-February by the Parisian contemporary art center, depicts a person with their hands tied, forced into oral sex by a powerful faceless man. For his detractors, the victim is a child, which the artist denies, invoking the representation of rape as a weapon of war and a crime against humanity.

Sunday afternoon, a man described as elderly by a source familiar with the matter projected purple paint on this painting, “dissatisfied with the sexual staging of a child and an adult represented according to him”, without be part of an activist group. The associations Lawyers for Childhood, Childhood in Sharing, Facing Incest and Innocence in Danger, considering child pornography, demanded its removal but were dismissed in the spring by the Paris Administrative Court and then by the Council of State.

On Sunday, the Minister of Culture, Rima Abdul Malak, denounced the “instrumentalization” of this affair by the National Rally “to stir up controversy and attack the freedom of creation of artists” and without which, according to her, “we ‘would certainly not have come to that’. The Palais de Tokyo for its part specified that it would file a complaint and would continue “to present the painting and the exhibition”, which attracted 80,000 visitors, “with the traces of the degradation until the planned end of the season, May 14.”