Rennes, Ille-et-Vilaine, France: “Prisons on fire”/”Destroy the CRA”
Rennes. The exhibition on the abolition of the death penalty vandalized
France3, October 9, 2021
A member of the association Champs de Justice made the discovery this Saturday morning, October 9, that fifteen panels hung on the walls of the former Jacques Cartier prison in Rennes had been tagged. Some of the signs read “ACAB”, “Destroy the CRA (centre de rétention administrative)”. Some of them were covered with posters mentioning the group l’Envolée, which campaigns against prisons.
Lithographs, photographs, extracts from comic strips or even paintings were installed here for an exhibition planned on the abolition of the death penalty. 2021 marks the 40th anniversary of this abolition. One of the panels reminded us that Robert Badinter, Minister of Justice, had written his speech of September 17 read at the National Assembly in the vacation home of his friend Benoîte Groult in Doëlan in Finistère.
For the association that had been working on the project for nearly a year, this is a disappointment. The inauguration which was to take place this Saturday at 2 pm has been cancelled. All the panels have been removed from the wall. The city services spent more than two hours cleaning up. Christian Gentilleau, the president of Champs de Justice says he is “bitter”. “We thought there would be reactions,” he says.
The exhibition will be postponed (it will run until December 31) but no date has yet been set. The association may favour an enclosed space. “Some panels will be able to be cleaned but others are much too damaged.”
The city will file a complaint. The association Champs de Justice will join this complaint.
The exhibition on the abolition of the death penalty soiled by anarchists [sic]
Rennesinfosautrement, October 9, 2021 (extract)
They covered the exhibition panels and the wall of the former prison with tags and slogans; so much so that the organizers were forced to abandon their event. “It’s sabotage,” explains a member of the association. “It’s a big disappointment”, agrees Françoise Cognet, vice-president of the association.
“We had prepared our fifteen panels for several months with a think tank and the support of the city, the Museum of Fine Arts. Our work symbolized the abolition of the death penalty. Christian Gentilleau, president of the association, agrees. “I am stunned! We were afraid of tags. But we said to ourselves that there was not much risk. We didn’t think about it anymore, except that this week the lock of the ex-prison was broken into three times and changed twice. I had warned the city hall that it was necessary to anticipate. This operation was obviously planned.”
A complaint will be filed by the association for damage. The exhibition should be postponed. “The idea would be to organize it within the walls of Jacques Cartier with entry and exit times.” In the early afternoon, Lenaïc Briéro, deputy for security and Cyrille Morel, also an elected official, were present at the scene.