Half-naked women in blood-red hoodies covered in silver paint evoked the French revolutionary icon on Champs-Elysees avenue on Saturday. Their appearance was in stark contrast to the black and blue uniforms of gendarmes and police officers, and the yellow vests of hundreds of protesters around them.
The silent demonstration has been somewhat shrouded in mystery. The women haven’t been confirmed to be from the infamous FEMEN movement or from any other group. Yet people on social media noted that they added a scent of creativity to the French rallies. “I adore these Mariannes,” one person tweeted.
Marianne, the Goddess of Liberty, is a national symbol of the French Republic which stands opposed to the monarchy and champions freedom and democracy. She is depicted as an embodiment of liberty leading the people over the barricades in the iconic Eugene Delacroix’s painting.
The Yellow Vest protesters have used the national symbol abundantly during the five weeks of rallies. Images of Delacroix’s Marianne ‘dressed’ in yellow vests have been circulating on Twitter. Some protesters in yellow vests were seen waving flags in the same pose as Marianne.