Residents of Setif city in Algeria were shocked by an act of vandalism on the statue of their famous city and its main monument, the Ain el-Fouara fountain.
The Salafist Algerian who vandalized the statue saw it as a disgrace, and just a “fetish” for a woman stripped of her clothes.
The video was widely shared on social media sites in Algeria on Monday, showing the Salafist climbing the statue, and destroying it using a hammer and an iron bar, specifically focusing on the marble face and chest areas of the statue.
The video shows citizens gathering around him, demanding him to stop, but he replied with violent threats to anyone who tried to approach him. The police eventually intervened and stopped him with the help of some citizens, while he violently resisted.
The Ain el Fouara statue, located in the heart of the city of Setif, is placed on top of a fountain built in 1898 by the French sculptor Francis de Saint-Vidal. It is considered one of the most important landmarks in Algeria, attracting thousands of visitors daily.
The statue has previously sparked debate in Algeria, where some view it as a display of a woman’s private areas shaming their modesty and dishonoring the people of the city.
But others see it as a historical and cultural landmark; a masterpiece for men and women to enjoy.