Historic steps damaged in furious protests against Louis Vuitton show | World | News

Violent clashes erupted last night outside a Louis Vuitton fashion show as hundreds of protesters and police faced off, following the damaging of historic steps at Park Guell, a UNESCO World Heritage site in Barcelona, during preparations for the event.

Local anger boiled over after images circulated online showing damage to the steps near barriers set up for the high-profile fashion show, which showcased Louis Vuitton’s Cruise Collection for next year.

The exclusive event, held in a public park renowned for its design by modernist architect Antoni Gaudí, sparked outrage among residents.

Chaotic scenes unfolded as baton-wielding officers clashed with demonstrators.

Eyewitnesses reported police shoving residents and beating a man to the ground after he lashed out with a kick. Several arrests were made.

Barcelona City Council attributed the damage to a “human error” during the event preparations and assured that repairs were already underway.

“The organising company regrets the incident and will cover the costs of the repair,” said the City Hall of Barcelona in a statement.

The Consell Veïnal del Turó de la Rovira, a local neighbourhood council, criticised the city’s handling of the event. “We want to report that in less than 24 hours of work for the Louis Vuitton parade in Park Guell, a piece of stairs has already been damaged,” they posted on Twitter/X.

“This is how the City Council looks after the heritage of the city and of Unesco.”

David Mar, a member of the neighbourhood association, expressed frustration over the heavy infrastructure brought in for the event. “The amount of infrastructure they bring is beastly: trucks, sheds, fences … it’s a very strong display deployment,” he told Rac1, noting that the work began unexpectedly ten days prior.

In protest, locals staged a parodic catwalk in the Travessera de Dalt road, with participants mocking the fashion show. One man donned a red dress and a lace net over his face, while another wore a black coat emblazoned with “ACAB” (All Cops Are B******s).

The Louis Vuitton event, one of many organised by the brand for the 37th America’s Cup held in Barcelona, highlighted the ongoing tension between commercial interests and the preservation of cultural heritage in the city.

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