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Louis Vuitton Security Guard Slaps Child at Paris Fashion Week, Video Shows

Newsweek 10/5/2022 James Bickerton
An employee cleans the deserted Napoleon courtyard outside the closed Louvre museum on December 15, 2020 in Paris, France. Video posted online showed a child being slapped by a security guard outside the cultural institution on Tuesday. © Chesnot/GETTY An employee cleans the deserted Napoleon courtyard outside the closed Louvre museum on December 15, 2020 in Paris, France. Video posted online showed a child being slapped by a security guard outside the cultural institution on Tuesday.

A video reportedly showing a 13-year-old child being slapped by a security guard outside the Louvre on Tuesday, during Paris Fashion Week, has been widely shared online.

It was filmed during an event organized at the art gallery by French company Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton [LVMH], which specializes in luxury fashion.

Posted on Twitter by French lawyer and commentator Juan Branco, the footage has racked up more than 450,000 views.

The four-second clip shows a security guard approach a young boy, whom he grabs with his right arm before appearing to slap him across the face with his left hand.

Branco wrote: "Today, Le Louvre completely closed and privatized by and for Bernard Arnault [the billionaire CEO of LVMH], for Louis Vuitton. LVMH agents hit a 13-year-old child. LVMH had the video removed. But we had saved it."

Branco told Newsweek that the footage was recorded and originally posted online by an eyewitness, who removed the video after being "threatened" with "blacklisting and legal proceedings."

The lawyer said the incident took place "on the esplanade of Le Louvre," with the child "rushing to try to have a selfie."

Branco added: "Once the footage was transmitted, I verified its origin, the conditions of its deletion, and decided to make it public.

"As a lawyer and a public figure, and also very connoisseur of this world, I can't be threatened as the original person would have. It's nonetheless extremely problematic to see how it could have gone unnoticed."

A spokesperson for Louis Vuitton told Newsweek: "Louis Vuitton condemns all forms of violence and sincerely apologizes for this inexcusable action.

"As soon as the Maison became aware of this incident, the service provider was immediately contacted to ensure that the security agent no longer work for Louis Vuitton and that necessary measures be implemented going forward to prevent any future reoccurrences."

Branco said the incident shows how private corporations being allowed increasing influence over "public spaces" in Paris.

He added: "This poses the question of ramping privatization of public space in France. Louvre is and always been a symbol of France as a power, governmental and cultural institution. Not a place to be rented for commercial reasons."

Newsweek has contacted The Louvre for comment.

In June, a vandal smeared cake across the Mona Lisa painting in the Louvre, though protective glass prevented any permanent damage.

As with tourist attractions across France, the Louvre was shut in March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, not reopening until that July.

In 2017, a man was shot and injured after attacking soldiers outside the museum with a machete, in what then-French President Francois Hollande called a terrorist attack.

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