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Gilets jaunes: New Paris mural shows Lady Liberty leading protesters

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PBOY's mural in Paris
PBOY's mural in Paris -
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AFP
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A mural depicting Lady Liberty, as painted by French artist Eugene Delacroix to celebrate the 1830 Revolution, has appeared in Paris showing her leading gilets jaunes (yellow vests) protesters.

Eugene Delacroix's 1830 painting "Liberty Leading the People," hangs in the Louvre Museum and celebrates the uprising from the same year, which toppled King Charles X of France.

It shows a woman, wearing a Phrygian cap and holding the French tricolour flag, leading the people past a barricade and over those who had fallen before them.

Marianne, as she is known in France, personifies Liberty and has become a symbol of the French Republic, appearing on coins and stamps, with many town halls across the country displaying a bust to her likeness.

Street artist Pascal Boyart, known as PBOY, who painted the mural in Paris' 19th district told the AFP news agency: "I wanted to take the theme of this painting, one of the most famous in the world, and put it up to date."

A local resident described the mural as "marvelous."

"It's representative of what's happening at the moment. It's not a revolution per se, but the population is asking for its due, that's all. I really think it says a lot about what France is right now," he told AFP.

The painting, unveiled on Sunday, came a day after protesters and police clashed across the country during the gilets jaunes' eighth day of national action. The citizen movement, which initially denounced the government's plan to raise taxes on fuel, has grown into a wider protest about inequality and spending power.

As is customary for PBOY, he added a QR code at the bottom of the fresco for people to send him a donation. He also embedded a "bitcoin puzzle" — the first observer to find the "private key" will get €1,000.