One activist vandalized the statue of a man of the French state outside the country’s parliament.
Jean-Baptiste Colbert helped write the Code Noir or Black Code of the 17th Century, that has defined slavery and race in the France of the empire.
Footage posted on social media shows the activist of the spray Colbert statue with red paint on Tuesday.
He has sprayed the words “state negrophobia” on the base of the monument before the police arrested him.
The band of the Brigade Anti Négrophobie posted the video and the man himself is wearing a t-shirt bearing their name.
The murder of George Floyd by the us police in the city of Minneapolis, last month, which has caused a wave of protests in the world against police violence and institutional racism.
Statues of a racist or slave-owning historical figures have also been targeted.
- Colonial abuses haunt France is the racism debate
- The last 30 minutes of George Floyd’s life
In France, there were mass protests over the death of Adama Traore, 24-year-old killed by police, police custody, in 2016. The protesters have compared his death to that of George Floyd.
This is not the first French statue to be degraded in recent weeks. In the north of the city of Lille, protesters wrote the words “murderer” and “colon” on the statue of Louis Faidherbe, a 19th Century governor of Senegal, where it was a French colony.
Who was Jean-Baptiste Colbert?
Colbert was a French statesman who served King Louis XIV in the 17th Century.
He has earned the nickname of “The Great Colbert” for the economic reforms he put in place as France expanded its colonial empire abroad.
- Belgium “wakes up” to its bloody colonial past
- How many statues of black people, of the united KINGDOM have?
In the 1680s, he has helped to write the Code Noir on the orders of the king. It has defined a number of codes, including the banning of Jews from all of France’s colonies, to define the terms and conditions of the slavery of work, and restricting the freedoms of free blacks.
As protests have spread in France in recent weeks, Colbert has become an increasingly controversial figure.
Colbert of the statue is found outside the French parliament, the National Assembly. There is also a building within named Colbert Room, and other structures across the country that bears his name.
Jean-Marc Ayrault, former prime minister and the president of France, the Foundation for the memory of Slavery in Nantes, has called for Colbert Room you want to rename.
“The time has come for France to take a new step concerning the issue of colonialism and slavery,” he told the Ouest France newspaper.
“I’m not suggesting we dismantle all the statues, for example, but that we place a plaque recalling who Colbert is and what he’s done,” Mr. Ayrault said.
President Emmanuel Macron said earlier this month that France “will forget any of his works, he will not take down the statues” in the wake of the protests.
“I’ll be very clear tonight, fellow countrymen: the Republic not to delete any name in its history,” he said in a televised speech.
The Statues have been defaced and toppled across Europe in recent weeks, including in Belgium and the united KINGDOM.