A memorial to French World War II soldiers and Resistance fighters has been vandalised with an anti-health pass slogan, authorities said Monday, in what President Emmanuel Macron called an “insult” to the nation’s memory.
The Mont Valerien monument in Suresnes, west of Paris, was vandalised with “Anti Pass” painted in large letters, with the style of the double-s reminiscent of that used by Nazis for their SS inscriptions, authorities said.
The inscription on the monument – which was inaugurated in 1960 by then-president Charles de Gaulle – is 50m long, they said.
Macron on Monday called the act “an insult to the memory of our heroes and the memory of the nation”.
In a tweet, he said that “to sully this sacred place of the republic is to violate what unites us. The perpetrators will be found and put on trial.”
France requires a health pass – proof of vaccination, Covid recovery or a negative test result – for access to restaurants and cafes, public transport and cultural venues, a requirement that sparked major protests last summer.
The government is pushing for a fast rollout of booster shots in an effort to avoid another lockdown as the new Omicron virus variant is causing infections to spike.
It has also said the pass will lapse for anyone who fails to get a booster shot.
The health authorities have reported that more than 76% of the eligible population had been fully vaccinated as of last week, one of the highest vaccination rates in the European Union.