Châtelet 'chat' artist faces court

RATP says his giant yellow grinning cats are vandalism – but artist says they cheer up Métro station during renovations

A GRAFFITI artist who has daubed giant yellow grinning cats all round the Paris Châtelet metro station has refused to pay a €1,800 fine for vandalism, saying he just wanted to brighten up the sad, grey walls.

French-Swiss Thoma Vuille, known as Monsieur Chat, has been backed by a 6,000-signature petition and has won support from the mayor of the 13th arrondissement.

He painted the giant acrylic cats after passing the station, which is being renovated, and thought it needed to be brightened up until scaffolding and hoardings were put up.

However, transport authority RATP was not impressed and laid a complaint. Speaking to Le Figaro, Monsieur Chat said: “Anyone who says my graffiti is messy has never taken the Métro!”

Internationally known for painting the giant yellow grinning cats; he painted his first in Orleans in 1997 and has since daubed them on walls around Europe, Brazil, China and Senegal.

In 2004 he made a bigger version in Paris – with a giant yellow cat taking up most of the esplanade at the Centre Pompidou.

He now faces court in Paris on October 29 and Jérôme Coumet, mayor of the 13th arrondissement, says he will be there to support him.
Photo: Facebook M.Chat Officiel