French Artist Restores Portraits of Holocaust Survivors Vandalized With Swastikas

Amid a surge of anti-Semitic incidents in France, a portrait of famed Holocaust survivor Simone Veil was covered with swastikas

French street artist Christian Guemy, known as C215, cleans the vandalized mailboxes with swastikas covering the portrait of the late Holocaust survivor and renowned French politician Simone Veil, in Paris, February 12, 2019.
Benoit Tessier/Reuters

Portraits of a prominent Holocaust survivor that were daubed with swastikas in Paris this week have been restored by the artist who made them.

An unknown person was discovered Monday to have attacked images of Simone Veil, the survivor of Nazi death camps and a European Parliament president who died in 2017. They were painted on mailboxes near a town hall in the southeast of the French capital.

On Tuesday, artist Christian Guemy, who also goes by the name C215, tweeted a photo of the restored images.

He said: "Simone Veil is back ... stronger than the barbarity of anonymous people."

According to French authorities, registered incidents of anti-Semitism rose to 541 last year from 311 in 2017, an increase of 74 percent.

Christian symbols have also been targets in France recently.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe condemned damage done by vandals to five churches last week, and urged the French to respect religion.

"In our secular Republic, we respect the places of worship. These acts shock me," he said.

Philippe said he will relay this message to representatives of the Catholic Church during a Wednesday meeting in Paris.