Paris mayor urged to remove swastikas from building’s floor


(JTA) — A French anti-Semitism watchdog urged the mayor of Paris to order the removal of a mosaic floor featuring swastikas that the group identified in a residential building.

The floor of the entrance of the building in Paris’ 6th arrondissement, or district — an affluent and central quarter comprising the touristic Saint-Germain-des-Pres area — contains dozens of swastikas made of black mosaic and incorporated at regular intervals into the floor’s pattern, the National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism, or BNVCA, wrote Thursday in a statement.

“BNVCA does not understand how these illegal symbols have been allowed to exist, probably for a very long time, in this building without being flagged by a single person,” the statement by BNVCA read. “BNVCA deplores how the residents of this building seemed to accommodate these symbols when their presence is intolerable.”

BNVCA, which photographed the lobby floor, asked Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo to “intervene with the owners or other legally responsible parties” to remove the tiles.

Unless the symbols are removed, “BNVCA will file a complaint with the Prosecutor’s Office,” BNVCA said, noting that displaying Nazi symbols is illegal in France.

BNVCA founder Sammy Ghozlan said his organization was still working to find out who had the swastikas incorporated into the mosaic floor of the building. He noted that the building is located 200 yards from Hotel Lutetia, which during the Nazi occupation was requisitioned by the German counterespionage service and served as the luxury quarters of officers including Alfred Toepfer and the French collaborator Rudy de Mérode.

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