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Trial for a Cat

  • Street Art
September 9, 2014
Asja Nastasijevic is an Art Historian with the major in Modern Art, involved in art writing and criticism for several years now. Art is her passion and writing about it is both work and pleasure.

Monsieur Chat’s smiling yellow cats on the walls of the Chatelet metro did not please the RATP (Autonomous Operator of Parisian Transports). The Parisian public transportation authority claims a penalty for the the French-Swiss street artist Thoma Vuille, aka Monsieur Chat, accused of illegally drawing his signature cats in the corridors of the Châtelet, otherwise, under renovation for several months. In early August, Monsieur Chat was summoned to the court of Saint-Ouen and refuses to pay the fine of 1,800 Euros.

Graffiti at metro station in France
Monsieur Chat – metro station in Paris, France

Dirty Graffiti?

The Franco-Swiss artist, who since his debut in Orleans paints cats around the world for years, has apologized for his actions but claims to be a victim of injustice. Monsieur Chat’s favorite animal adorns the walls of Paris since the early 2000s. He denies any aggression saying that people who say that my graffiti is dirty never take the subway.

Graffiti at metro station in France
Monsieur Chat, France

Thousands of Smiles Every  Day

A petition is now circulating on the Internet to defend the artist. The artist’s fans as well as several Parisian elected officials publicly expressed their support for Monsieur Chat. They are calling on the RATP to withdraw its complaint against the artist holding that Monsieur Chat’s cats bring a smile to hundreds, if not thousands of passengers every day. Thousands of signatures have already been collected. The mayor of the thirteenth arrondissement of Paris, Jérôme Coumet, has vowed to fully support the artist on the day of his trial in October. It remains to be seen if the support of elected officials and the large number of petition signatures will help Monsieur Chat on his cat mission. People say that cats have nine lives…

Graffiti at metro station in France
Monsieur Chat, France