Paris – Portraits of Simone Veil, who died in 2017, on the front wall of a local government building in the 13th arrondissement, were covered with swastikas. The portraits were made on the occasion of Veil’s entrance to the Pantheon last July.
Veil, a leading French politician and rights icon who was deported as a teenager to the Auschwitz concentration camp, was considered one of France’s most popular and trusted public figures before her death. She is one of only five women buried in the Pantheon, which houses the remains of many great French figures, including Voltaire, Victor Hugo and Emile Zola.
The mayor of the arrondissment, Jerome Coumet, denounced the graffiti as “foul, abject and especially cowardly.”
“Dirtying Simone Veil means dirtying all of us and each of us must react to the foul beast,” he said.