When monuments become targets | Culture| Arts, music and lifestyle reporting from Germany | DW | 04.12.2018
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Culture

When monuments become targets

From the Arc de Triomphe in Paris to the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin, famed landmarks that are a magnet for visitors are repeatedly misused as a platform for protests — as the Yellow Vest riots in Paris prove.

Protestors defaced Paris' Arc de Triomphe during Saturday protests with statements like "Triumph of the Yellow Vests" and demands for French President Emmanuel Macon to step down.

The slogans on the facade are only part of the damage caused by protesters. Vandalism on the inside will cost up to €1 million ($1.14 million) to fix, said Philippe Belaval, head of the National Monument Authority. The Parisian landmark is now closed to visitors for several days. 

Read moreMacron holds crisis talks after worst urban riot in 50 years

Immortal fame via arson

Vandalism as a means to an end is by no means a modern phenomenon. As early as 356 B.C., Herostrates set the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus — one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World — in order to attain eternal glory.

However, devastation and willful damage are not always aimed at a specific personal or political goal.

Sometimes, it's just wanton desecration, as our picture gallery above shows.

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