The Mayors Office in Paris Declares War on Graffiti
Dagnaud Francois, deputy mayor in charge of cleanliness in the city of Paris has declared war on Parisian Graffiti. Calling it “Agressive Pollution” Francois has said that the city “must stop condoning anything this big in the name of freedom of expression or other artistic alibi’s”. In turn, a new plan to fight graffiti has been created and now 13.5 million euros over three years will be dedicated to fighting the graffiti issue. It is a 2 million euro increase from the previous three year budget, but is supposed to be “more effective and qualitative”. Three companies have now been issued contracts to clean smaller areas of the city and the furniture and boxes of booksellers. This is compared to a single company previously contracted. A cell phone and internet alert system has been instituted, as well as penalties that could potentially reach 40% of the amount of work in the event of business failure. According to Article 635-1 of the Paris Penal Code, graffiti is punishable by a fine of up to €1500 and can be increased if the offense effects a public building. These new measures are set to take effect June 21st 2012.
At this point it is not clear if this new “War on Graffiti” in Paris is a serious and sustained campaign, or weather it is just political posturing and kickbacks, only time will tell.