French Town Unveils Gargoyles of Murdered ‘Charlie Hebdo’ Cartoonists
The duo serves as a reminder of the importance of free speech.
The port town of La Rochelle, France has paid tribute to two cartoonists who were killed in the attack on the offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in January.
Gargoyles in the likeness of cartoonists Jean Cabut and Georges Wolinski were unveiled on the town’s 12th century Tour de la Lanterne after the historic tower underwent restoration, Le Figaro reported.
With his round glasses, recognizable hairstyle and a pencil stuck behind his ear, Cabut, who went by the pen name “Cabu”, is seen perched on the northeast side of the tower whereas Wolanski, flanked by two nude female figures, is situated on the southwest side. Both their mouths are wide open, providing a drainage outlet for the tower. The two cartoonists may have found this fate amusing, to say the least.
The tribute was conceived by Philippe Villeneuve, chief architect behind the historic monument’s renovation project, which restored the 12th century tower’s original color and replaced its cement joints.
“During the work, two gargoyles were due to be replaced,” Frederic Henry, assistant administrator of the La Rochelle tower at the National Monuments Center told AFP. Henry said that Villeneuve then proposed that the building be used “to pay tribute to…all the threatened artists in the world.” Cabut and Wolinski were the obvious choice.
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