A work of street art by the French stencil maker C215, in tribute to the Algerian victims of the massacre of October 17, 1961, has been degraded in Ivry-sur-Seine (Val-de-Marne) from « Manifestly racist manner », denounced Saturday, December 25 the artist.
Two months ago, on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the massacre of Algerian demonstrators under the authority of the Paris police prefect of the time Maurice Papon, C215, whose real name is Christian Guémy, had painted with a stencil on a Ivry’s garage wall a portrait of one of the victims of this repression, Ahmad Khalfi, with the inscription “Thrown into the Seine on 10/17/1961”.
Sprayed with red spots
As shown in a photo published by the artist on social media on Saturday, this inscription was erased with a chisel and the portrait was sprayed with blood-red spots. A penis has also been engraved on the work.
The one who added bloodstains and chiseled the wall to erase the inscription « thrown into the Seine on 17 10 1961… https://t.co/yBaZoZYRkg
« It’s very violent for all North Africans and people who can really identify with him [Ahmad Khalfi]. He is not a political figure, he is just a victim of a massacre that was committed under circumstances of ordinary racism. And there, we perpetuate all that « , regretted C215. » It’s very sad. It is an offense thrown in the face not only of the victim but also of people of the present ”, he added.
“I noticed it today but don’t know when it was done. It is in a small street, there is not much traffic ”, he explained. “I tried to make his portrait as lively and human as possible. It is painted at human height, in an area where there is a lot of diversity in addition. « At a time when we are talking about diversifying the memorial representation in the public space, we did not leave the hostel … », he lamented.
The portrait of policeman Ahmed Merabet degraded in November
In November, another stenciled portrait of C215, that of policeman Ahmed Merabet, coldly assassinated by one of the Kouachi brothers in January 2015, was degraded in Paris. The police chief had lodged a complaint after the racist insult « bicot » was found in this portrait.
For the first time this year, the French Presidency has recognized that » Several dozens « Algerian demonstrators « Were killed, their bodies thrown into the Seine » October 17, 1961. The official toll has so far only counted three victims.
« We condemn the degradation of which C215 has been subjected, whose work is known and recognized in the Paris region and by Ivryans », reacted the town hall of Ivry.