The graffiti artist Lekto, prosecuted for a fresco representing Jacques Attali manipulating Emmanuel Macron, was acquitted

Prosecuted for having painted a fresco in Avignon representing the economist Jacques Attali as a puppeteer manipulating an Emmanuel Macron-Pinocchio, the graffiti artist Lekto was acquitted on Thursday, November 23, by the criminal court

The graffiti artist Lekto, prosecuted for a fresco representing Jacques Attali manipulating Emmanuel Macron, was acquitted

Prosecuted for having painted a fresco in Avignon representing the economist Jacques Attali as a puppeteer manipulating an Emmanuel Macron-Pinocchio, the graffiti artist Lekto was acquitted on Thursday, November 23, by the criminal court. The street artist was on trial for "public insult on grounds of origin, ethnicity, nation, race or religion" and for "provoking discrimination on grounds of origin, ethnicity, nation, race or religion”.

The court acquitted him of these two charges, although the prosecution had requested a fine of 6,000 euros against him, including 2,000 suspended, during the hearing on September 14. The prosecution and the International League against Racism and Anti-Semitism (Licra), which had filed a civil suit, have ten days to appeal, recalled the president of the court.

Anti-Semitic iconography

The 32-year-old graffiti artist created this mural in June 2022 on an electrical transformer at the northeast entrance to Avignon. It immediately sparked controversy, before being deleted seventy-two hours later at the initiative of the prefecture and the urban community.

Depicting Jacques Attali, who is Jewish, as a Geppetto with a disturbing look manipulating like a puppet an Emmanuel Macron caricatured as Pinocchio, the painting took up the anti-Semitic iconography of the interwar period, according to its detractors.

In April, another fresco by the same artist representing Emmanuel Macron, in features reminiscent of the Nazi leader Adolf Hitler with the number "49.3" inscribed as a mustache, in reference to the article of the Constitution used to pass the reform of retirements in the National Assembly, had also created controversy before being also quickly erased.