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Algeria condemns attack on sculpture of historic figure in France

French and European flags fly in front of a sculpture in tribute to Algerian national hero Abdelkader, untitled "Passage Abdelkader", created by artist Michel Audiard, in Amboise, central France, on February 5, 2022. - The sculpture was vandalised prior to its inauguration on February 5. The Emir Abdelkader was a military and religious leader who led Algeria in their struggle against French colonial conquest in the 19th century. - RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY MENTION OF THE ARTIST UPON PUBLICATION - TO ILLUSTRATE THE EVENT AS SPECIFIED IN THE CAPTION (Photo by Guillaume SOUVANT / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY MENTION OF THE ARTIST UPON PUBLICATION - TO ILLUSTRATE THE EVENT AS SPECIFIED IN THE CAPTION / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY MENTION OF THE ARTIST UPON PUBLICATION - TO ILLUSTRATE THE EVENT AS SPECIFIED IN THE CAPTION (Photo by GUILLAUME SOUVANT/AFP via Getty Images)
French and European flags fly in front of a sculpture in tribute to Algerian national hero Abdelkader, untitled "Passage Abdelkader", created by artist Michel Audiard, in Amboise, central France, on February 5, 2022 [GUILLAUME SOUVANT/AFP via Getty Images]

Algerian Mujahideen Minister, Eid Rabiqa, yesterday condemned the vandalism of a sculpture of anti-colonial freedom fighter and national hero, Emir Abdelkader, in the French city of Amboise on Saturday.

The minister described the attack as an "uncivilised action."

Reporters said the sculpture was vandalised just hours before it was inaugurated as a symbol of Franco-Algerian reconciliation on Saturday.

Abdelkader was imprisoned in Amboise from 1848 to 1852, during the French occupation of Algeria.

Thierry Boutard, Amboise mayor, said he was "ashamed" of those responsible and decided to proceed with the inauguration ceremony regardless.

"My second sentiment is of course one of indignation … This is a day of harmony and unity and this kind of behaviour is unspeakable," he add.

The steel sculpture by artist Michel Audiard was commissioned to mark the 60th anniversary of Algeria's independence from France.

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