Man threatening to make French museum 'hell' taken into psychiatric care

2019-10-23 22:00
iStock

iStock

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Police in southern France on Wednesday detained a man who had broken into a museum overnight and threatened to turn it into "hell", before admitting him to a psychiatric hospital, authorities said.

The man, who had provoked a four-hour standoff with police, was "mentally disturbed", regional prosecutor Patrice Camberou said.

He was "a very mentally disturbed person, he was totally delusional, it was impossible to question him", said Camberou.

The museum, a historic monument, includes a medieval stone church and a vast collection of amphoras and other items from the region's Roman history.

"Some amphoras dating from the Roman period have been destroyed," Saint-Raphael's mayor, Frederic Masquelier, said at a press conference.

The man was about 18 years old but gave officers several identities, including that of the fictional "Aladdin".

The man was seized "without resistance and without violence" in the gardens of the archeology museum in the Mediterranean town of Saint-Raphael shortly after 11:00, the government's top regional official Eric de Wispelaere said.

Officers from the elite RAID crisis intervention unit as well as a bomb disposal squad surrounded the site, where several messages in Arabic, including "The museum is going to become a hell," had been scrawled on the walls, according to police sources.

De Wispelaere said the man had acted alone and no explosives were found.

The standoff led officials to lock down a large part of the historic centre of the resort town of some 35,000 people, tucked between Cannes and Saint-Tropez.

"There are barricades everywhere, the street is completely blocked off," Sebastian Belkacem, who owns the Duplex restaurant opposite the museum, told AFP by telephone.

Read more on:    france
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
Most Read
News In Your Area
Top Lifestyle
/News
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.