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spray for paris

Across Paris graffiti artists send message of defiance to attackers

The attacks earlier this month left 130 dead and hundreds more injured.

France Paris Attacks Street Art  Photo Gallery A picture of a Marianne, a symbol of the French Republic, hanging outside the Place de la Republique AP / Binta Epelly AP / Binta Epelly / Binta Epelly

AS PARIS REELED from the worst attacks France has known since the end of World War II, its street artists took to city walls and billboards to paint notes of defiance.

The 13 November attacks targeted mainly young Parisians enjoying a Friday night out at a crowded rock concert, restaurants, cafes and a soccer match between Germany and France. They left 130 people dead and hundreds more wounded.

France Paris Attacks Street Art  Photo Gallery In Paris, a boy skates by a painted wall reading Paris, i love you. AP Photo / Binta Epelly AP Photo / Binta Epelly / Binta Epelly

Tributes for the victims have poured in from around the world, and Parisians have visited the sites of the bloodshed, leaving flowers, candles and notes on sidewalks and pinned to street railings.

Graffiti artists have added their own notes, covering some city walls overnight with messages and paintings, many under the slogan “spray for Paris” — a play on the slogan “pray for Paris” that took social media by storm in the hours after the killings.

France Paris Attacks Street Art  Photo Gallery Graffiti that reads 'Give me hate, I will turn it into love' AP / Binta Epelly AP / Binta Epelly / Binta Epelly

“Give me hate, I will turn it into love” wrote one artist on a Parisian door, flanked by two French Tricolor flags on the walls on either side. “Bury the weapons,” wrote another. A poster pinned on a lamppost showed the figure of Marianne, an allegorical symbol of the French republic, shedding a blue, white and red tear.

France Paris Attacks Street Art  Photo Gallery Graffiti in Paris that reads 'tossed but not sunk' AP / Binta Epelly AP / Binta Epelly / Binta Epelly

Dozens of variations of slogans such as “Paris, I love you” and “Paris, still standing” adorned the city in graffiti and posters, as well as artistic renditions of the city’s motto “Fluctuat Nec Mergitur,” meaning sea-tossed but not sinking. The artists’ message is clear: Paris might have been battered, but it’s not beaten.

Read: Medical staff rapidly arrived at hospitals spontaneously on night of the Paris attacks

Also: Woman seen in tabloid bubble bath photo is NOT suspected Paris jihadi

Associated Foreign Press
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