In pictures: Versailles artwork vandalised with anti-Semitic graffiti
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Anti-Semitic phrases were spray-painted Sunday morning onto a provocative sculpture by British-Indian artist Anish Kapoor in the grounds of the world-famous Château de Versailles near Paris.
The words “Jewish rape of the nation” and “SS” were daubed on the artwork.
It is the second time the artwork, a 70-meter (230-foot) tubular steel structure called "Dirty Corner", has been vandalised. It was previously spray-painted in June.
France’s Culture Minister Fleur Pellerin called the latest attack "ignominious" and says it shows a "fascist vision of culture." Pellerin said the authorities were actively searching for the perpetrators.
Kapoor’s installation is part of an exhibition of his work in the grounds of the lavish 17th century palace that opens on Tuesday and runs until November.
The artist, 61, has long courted controversy, and told French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche in June that "Dirty Corner" was meant to be blatantly sexual – and regal. It was, he said, "the vagina of a queen who is taking power".
Rise in anti-Semitism
France has faced a worrying rise in anti-Jewish acts, with the most shocking being the deadly attack on a Paris kosher supermarket on January 9, just days after Islamic extremists shot dead 12 people at the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo.
A rise in anti-Semitism has been cited as one of the reasons for 7,000 Jews leaving France for Israel in 2014, according to Israeli government figures, twice as many as in the previous year.