The Saint Germain de Charonne church on the Rue de Bagnolet is closed until further notice because of severe problems with its foundations. With the building no longer in use, the walls have become the surface for somebody looking to communicate a message.
The rather juvenile messages are seemingly the work of someone who is young and female, but they ask larger questions. Does the concept of sacrilege have any sense today, and are there any sacred surfaces left in our cities today?
With the church being closed and cordoned off to visitors it could be argued that the structure is little more than a construction site today. However, it remains a building that dates in parts from the 12th century, and one that is almost unique in Paris because of its adjoining cemetery. Relatively few people today in Paris would describe themselves as being religious, and even fewer ever go inside a church, but there is generally a respect for the city's history.
This is of course far from being anything that could be classed as artistic but we can ask whether there are walls in the city that can be written on and others that are more deserving of protection. Obviously these walls were chosen to increase the shock value, and the messages would have been quickly overlooked had they been splashed anywhere else, but from a judicial sense no difference would be made if the perpetrator were caught. Is this the right situation?