13 charged over sacking of Arc de Triomphe during Paris protests

06 Dec 2018 / 00:41 H.

PARIS: Thirteen people were charged on Wednesday over looting and destruction at the Arc de Triomphe monument to France’s war dead during violent “yellow vest” protests which rocked Paris last weekend, prosecutors said.

Three of the suspects, which include one minor, were placed in preventive custody ahead of their trial, while the others were released on bail.

The landmark arch at the top of the Champs-Elysees avenue, which offers panoramic views of the capital, was the epicentre of the clashes between anti-government protesters and police.

Demonstrators sprayed it with slogans, smashed sculptures and display cases in an underground gallery and snatched commemorative medals, some of which were later found among the 412 people arrested over the protest.

France’s director of national monuments Philippe Belaval has estimated the damages at several hundred thousand euros, and the arch has remained closed since Saturday.

The 13 suspects have been charged with breaking and entering, robbery and destruction of a heritage site.

Investigations are continuing to identify other suspects in the looting, the prosecutor’s office said.

Since Sunday, 227 adults have been prosecuted over the violence, of whom nearly a hundred have already appeared in court under a fast-track procedure.

Dozens have had their cases thrown out for lack of evidence. — AFP