Four men beat French street artist Combo after he refused to remove his artwork that called for the peaceful coexistence of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.
The incident took place 15 minutes southeast of downtown Paris, where two gunmen slaughtered twelve people at Charlie Hebdo. From The Local:
On a wall in the Porte Dorée neighbourhood, the 28-year-old put up a picture of himself wearing a djellaba (a full bodied outer robe common in Arabic-speaking countries) and then painted the word “co-exist” next to it, replacing the “c” with the Islamic crescent, the “x” with the Star of David, and the “t” with the Christian cross.
Four men approached the artist and insulted him, demanding that he remove the painting. The artist wrote on his Facebook page that when he refused to comply, all four of them beat him up severely, leaving him with a dislocated shoulder and bruises.
“I am deliberately being vague about the description of these cowards and where it all happened,” he wrote. “To me, it doesn’t matter where they come from, what colour their skin is, what their religion or their political ideas are. In this context, all they represent is stupidity and ignorance.”
Combo is an international star in his field. He visited the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone in Ukraine, which is still off limits for people since the 1986 nuclear explosion. He also developed advertisements for the nuclear industry after the Fukushima disaster in Japan.
“My work is meant to be disruptive,” he explained. “The pieces surprise you. You find them where they shouldn’t be.”