In Brazil, several paintings and architectural gems in the capital were vandalized by supporters of Jair Bolsonaro

The yellow and green wave of Bolsonaris, who rejected the results of the presidential election, ransacked, Sunday, January 8, several official buildings in Brasilia, the capital of Brazil. Several hundred of these ruthless radicals have caused immense damage to the three grand palaces, designed by the brilliant architect Oscar Niemeyer, which are treasures of modern architecture and serve as veritable museums, filled with works of art.

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Several paintings of invaluable value were damaged because of it. As reported by the Brazilian daily Hey Globeweb Ace Mulataby the great modernist painter Emiliano Di Cavalcanti, depicting black and mestizo women having a discussion by the sea, exhibited at the presidential palace of Planalto, had been punctured in several places.

Workers take action to replace a broken mirror where the painting 'As Mulatas' damaged by painter Emiliano Di Cavalcanti hangs, at the Planalto palace in Brasilia on January 9, 2023.
Security guards stand inside the Planalto Palace in Brasilia on January 9, 2023.

In Congress, theAraguaia, a stained glass window in the green room (equivalent to the French National Assembly’s Four Column room) dating from 1977 and signed by the French-Brazilian Marianne Peretti, was also damaged. The artist is the only female member of Oscar Niemeyer’s team, creator of Brasilia with urban planner Lucio Costa. According to the website Land and CNN Brazil, the base of the statue Bailarinaby Italian-Brazilian artist Victor Brecheret, also disappeared from the hemicycle.

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Priceless works were plundered

At the Federal Supreme Court (STF), the chair of Rosa Weber, president of the institution, designed by Polish-Brazilian designer Jorge Zalszupin, was torn up. A cross was also defaced, and a blindfolded statue of justice, signed by Alfredo Ceschiatti and located opposite, on the Place des Trois-Pouvoirs, was marked.

The “Hall of busts”, which exhibited representations of important figures in Brazilian history, was also vandalized. Busts of politician and writer Ruy Barbosa and abolitionist Joaquim Nabuco were destroyed. The original copy of the 1988 Constitution was also stolen. A carpet belonging to Princess Isabel (who had signed the abolition act in 1888) was damaged, as well as several centuries-old valuable pieces of furniture, dating from the Empire of Brazil and Dom Pedro II.

A worker removes a chair from a fountain at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia on January 9, 2023.

“Sunday’s events show how far-right nationalist Jair Bolsonaro and his supporters are marked by emptiness and deep hatred of culture”react to World Armelle Enders, historian specializing in contemporary Brazilian history:

“In the eyes of Bolsonarists, the heritage value of cultural and environmental assets is non-existent. This is expressed in the destruction of many existing works in Brazil’s three powerhouses, which were masterpieces of modernist architecture and have been attacked for what they are and what they represent. »

The city’s architectural and planning council condemned the serious attack on “The first urban complex XXe century recognized as a world heritage by the United Nations organization”. For José Nascimento, former president of the Brazilian Museum Institute, the daily quoted Folha de Sao Paulothis “crime, damage to public property” and could warrant a prison sentence as “terrorist”.

In the a video posted on his Twitter accountThe Minister of the Secretariat of Social Communications, Paulo Pimenta, shows his office which is on the second floor of the Presidential Palace, with its television screen and damaged furniture and office equipment. “It’s criminal what they do. It’s rebellionhe said, pointing to the damage. They are criminals and they should be treated like criminals for what they have done to democracy and to Brazil. »

Nearly three hundred people were arrested

STF President Rosa Weber, quoted by Hey Globesaid that the position of the Supreme Court, “Brazil’s historical and humanitarian heritage, has been seriously destroyed by criminals, vandals and anti-democrats”. According to information from the press service of the MK, the inspected building is closed today.

A protester watches as police troops ride horses as soldiers dismantle a camp for supporters of far-right former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro that had been set up outside army headquarters in Brasilia on January 9, 2023.
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Late Sunday night, security forces regained control of the presidential palace, Congress and the Supreme Court, said Justice and Security Minister Flavio Dino. “Dissidents who promote the destruction of public property in Brasilia are being identified and will be punished. Tomorrow we continue work on the Planalto Palace. Democracy always », tweeted President Lula, who inspected the looted buildings on his return to Brasilia in the evening. More than three hundred people were arrested and the prosecutor’s office requested that an investigation be opened immediately “responsibility of those involved” in attacking official buildings.

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