Europe

Vandals deface Paris' Sacre Coeur basilica

PARIS (AP) — France's interior minister says unknown vandals spray-painted graffiti on Sacre Coeur basilica in Paris.

Interior Minister Manuel Valls on Wednesday condemned the anti-church and anti-state vandalism on the entrance door, walls and floor overnight Monday to Tuesday. Clean-up crews were deployed to erase the words.

The Sacre Coeur, or Sacred Heart, basilica offers eye-popping views of Paris atop the trendy Montmartre neighborhood. Millions of visitors trek there each year. Consecrated in 1919, Sacre Coeur was approved as a project by the government decades earlier in an effort to restore moral values following the ill-fated Paris Commune revolt of 1871 in which thousands died.

Valls says authorities are working to identify and arrest the vandals.

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