Saturday, May 21

Indre-et-Loire. A sculpture in tribute to an Algerian hero vandalized before its inauguration

Vandalized just before its inauguration. The sculpture in tribute to Emir Abdelkader (1808-1883) was damaged overnight from Friday to Saturday in Amboise, Indre-et-Loire, where the Algerian national hero was detained with several members of his family. from 1848 to 1852, noted AFP journalists.

The work entitled “Passage Abdelkader”, which represents the Emir Abdelkader cut out of a sheet of rusty steel and produced by the Touraine artist Michel Audiard, was largely damaged in the lower part of the structure.

If the inauguration of the stele was maintained, the mayor of Amboise Thierry Boutard (DVD) expressed his “indignation”. “I was ashamed that we treat a work of art and an artist of this kind. The second feeling is of course outrage. It’s a day of harmony that must unite and such behavior is unspeakable, “said Thierry Boutard, the mayor of Amboise, to AFP.

It is not surprising with the hate speech, the current nauseating climate.

Ouassila Soum, 37-year-old Franco-Algerian, said she had “a heavy heart”. “It was done with a grinder, they are not children, it is a shame and at the same time it is not surprising with the hate speech, the current nauseating climate”, she added, seeing in this stele “a symbol of rapprochement between peoples and civilizations”. Algerian Ambassador to France Mohamed Antar Daoud called for “more dialogue and understanding”.

An open investigation

The sculpture was to be officially inaugurated this Saturday in front of the castle where the emir was imprisoned in the 19th century, specifies The New Republic. The daily also reports that an investigation is underway to try to identify the author of the vandalism.

This work for the 60th anniversary of Algeria’s independence was proposed by historian Benjamin Stora in his report on “Memorial questions relating to colonization and the Algerian war”, submitted to Emmanuel Macron in January 2021 .

Defender of Eastern Christians

Emir Abdelkader ibn Mahieddine (1808-1883) is a figure in the history of Algeria. The one who was nicknamed “the best enemy of France” played a big role in the refusal of the French colonial presence in Algeria. He is considered one of the founders of modern Algeria.

After his surrender, he was imprisoned in Pau, Toulon, then in the Château d’Amboise from 1848 until his release in 1852. This “bridge man” as Benjamin Stora calls him, then went into exile in Damascus, where he distinguished himself. in 1860 by defending the Christians of Syria, prey to persecution. This act will make him a symbol of tolerance. He will be awarded the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor.

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