(photo nicked from here)
If you’ve spent any time in Paris, then you’ve probably came across one of Monsieur Chat’s smiling yellow cats.
Or perhaps you saw “The Case of the Grinning Cat” a wonderful film by Chris Marker that came out last year.
Not to long ago Monsieur Chat was arrested in the City of Orléans by the local police. He now faces three years in jail. His trial is set to begin May 10th.
Monsieur Chat’s arrest and trial is raising some interesting issues in France on the value of street art. Are Monsieur’s Chat’s smiling yellow cats good for the city or bad? Is it any worse the advertising? For years, the cats, while done illegally, were celebrated by local officials, local residents, and the media. A history of support for the cats make it clear that the local people want the cats to be there. But the laws are also clear (art 322 code pénal) - anyone who writes on the propriety of someone else without asking the permission can be sentenced to 50’000 Euros and 3 years of jail.
It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.