PARIS (AP) — Two Paris statues related to France’s colonial era were daubed with red paint Monday amid a global movement to take down monuments to figures tied to slavery or colonialism.
One statue was of Hubert Lyautey, near the gold-domed Invalides monument that houses Napoleon’s tomb. Lyautey served in Morocco, Algeria, Madagascar and Indochina when they were under French control, and later was France’s minister of war during World War I.
The other figure drenched in red shows Voltaire, a leading thinker and writer of the French Enlightenment, who owed part of his fortune to colonial-era trade.
The action came amid growing demands by anti-racism activists in several countries to take down monuments that honor prominent historical figures who played a role in the slave trade or colonialism, in the wake of global protests sparked by the May 25 death in the U.S. of George Floyd.