Algeria Salafi destroys statue of bare-breasted woman
A man with a hammer on Tuesday attacked and damaged a statue of a bare-breasted woman, an emblem of the eastern city of Setif, in the latest in a series of such attacks.
Setif communications director Mohamed Touiri said that a Salafi - an ultraconservative Muslim - disfigured the face, breasts and arm of the statue, which is the centrepiece of a fountain in the heart of the city nearly 300 kilometres east of the capital Algiers.
The suspect was detained and will undergo a 'mental examination', he said.
Culture Minister Azzedine Mihoubi, who is from Setif, suggested in a tweet that the culprit was the same man who damaged the statue last year.
The colonial-era statue is the work of French sculptor Francis Saint Vidal, dating to 1889.
It was attacked and damaged last December. Authorities restored it and returned it to its pedestal with a festive ceremony last August.
In 1997, when extremist violence raged across Algeria, Islamists dynamited the statue, which was repaired in Italy.