Paris (AFP)

The anti-globalization association Attac painted black on Saturday windows of Samaritaine, the department store of luxury giant LVMH just reopened in the heart of Paris, to denounce "the indecent enrichment of billionaires during the health crisis".

The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, denounced on Twitter an "act of vandalism".

The department store reopened ten days ago, inaugurated by the President of the Republic Emmanuel Macron.

It belongs to the LVMH group of billionaire Bernard Arnault.

On his website, Attac said he wanted to "denounce the indecent enrichment of billionaires during the health crisis, with the complicity of the government, particularly that of Bernard Arnault, third world fortune".

On a video posted by the association, we see activists in white overalls spraying brand new windows of the department store with black gouache.

They also stick a poster with a photo of Mr. Arnault, entitled "Bernard Arnault, CEO of LVMH, +62 billion euros during the crisis".

"The world is marveling at the inauguration of the Samaritaine, a new luxury showcase for the LVMH group, while the first and first on duty are still waiting for their professions and salaries to be upgraded, for the hospital system and its staff to be suffocated, that small businesses are suffering, that the poor are getting poorer and the precarious are becoming precarious, "said Aurélie Found, spokesperson for Attac, on the association's website.

Asked by AFP, LVMH declined to comment, just specifying "consider filing a complaint".

Besides Mrs. Hidalgo, other political leaders denounced the action of Attac: "The stupidity has reopened, too", reacted the Secretary of State in charge of European Affairs, Clément Beaune, while the president of the region Ile-de-France, Valérie Pécresse, stressed that "it is not by attacking our national champions, job creators and engines of attractiveness in the territory, that we will have more social justice!"

Closed in 2005 for safety reasons related to its dilapidation, the famous store facing the Seine, at the Pont Neuf, reopened on June 23 after 750 million euros of work.

The store occupies 20,000 m2 and houses 600 luxury brands combining fashion, lifestyle and gastronomy.

The project also includes a luxury hotel of the Cheval Blanc brand with 72 rooms and suites with a bird's eye view of the Seine, which will open on September 7.

Ultimately, the site will employ around 3,000 people between its store, that of the Uniqlo brand, its luxury hotel, its restaurants and offices.

© 2021 AFP