Campaigners attack Churchill statue in Paris

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Paris, Aug 20: On the anniversary of Paris independence from Nazi rule, the French anti-war campaigners ravaged the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill's statue.

The red paint attack on the bronze hands of the 250, 000 pound statue took place at night, The Telegraph reports.

The initials RH were also daubed on the statue, perhaps a reference to Rudolf Hess, Adolf Hitler's deputy, who flew to Britain at the height of the Second World War to allegedly try and make peace.

Instead, Churchill had him thrown in prison in 1941, and the war continued for a further four years.

Some in France view Churchill as a war criminal himself because of his decision to scuttle the Vichy French fleet in Tunisia rather than let it fall into the hands of Third Reich forces.

He is also remembered for ordering the Allied bombing of occupied France, which led to thousands of French deaths.

But today there was nothing but widespread anger at the attack on the statue, which is situated next to the Champs Elysee.

"There are French people who are not great fans of Churchill, but the vast majority honour and respect him and will be disgusted by this cowardly attack," said a spokesman for Paris city hall.

The statue was unveiled in 1998 by Queen Elizabeth. The 10 foot high statue by French sculptor Jean Cardot is made of bronze and weighs two-and-a-half tons.

Its plinth bears the words, "We shall never surrender."


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