Design

Charlie Hebdo Cartoonists Immortalized as Gargoyles

Two familiar faces, gone but not forgotten, now grace a newly renovated tower in the French town of La Rochelle.

by Anya Tchoupakov
Oct 16 2015, 4:00pm

Image: SudOuest

Ten months after the horrific events that befell French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, the French town of La Rochelle has commemorated two of the slain artists by immortalizing them in the form of stone gargoyles on the newly renovated 12th century Tour de la Lanterne.

The renovation was supposed to restore the original color of the tower and replace its cement joints. Two gargoyles were also set to be replaced, and Philipe Villeneuve, chief architect of the renovation project, found it the perfect opportunity to “pay tribute to…all the threatened artists in the world.” Jean Cabut (known simply as Cabu) and Georges Wolinski now grace the northeast and southwest sides of the tower, respectively.

"First steps in sunny La Rochelle, at night," via Flickr user Franek N

In 1822, members of a revolutionary group against the Bourbon monarchy of Louis XVIII were held in the tower before being executed by guillotine, giving them and the tower the reputation of rebellion and martyrdom. The new addition of Charlie Hebdo artists, thus, seems all too fitting.

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