The week at a glance...Europe
London Rothko vandalized: A Russian man arrested for defacing a Mark Rothko painting says he was merely exercising artistic expression. Vladimir Umanets, co-founder of a movement called Yellowism, admitted to scrawling “Vladimir Umanets, a potential piece of Yellowism” in black paint in the corner of a 1958 Rothko work in the Tate Modern. He said he admired the Russian-born American painter and that his act was not vandalism because his contribution would actually increase the painting’s value. “Art allows us to take what someone’s done and put a new message on it,” Umanets said.
Paris Home-grown Islamists: French police arrested 11 people and killed one in a multicity raid on a suspected network of Islamic extremists. The group is thought to be responsible for a grenade attack on a kosher store last month. Police found bomb-making material in the garage belonging to the prime suspect, a French convert to Islam who was killed in an exchange of gunfire. French media said those arrested were admirers of Mohammed Merah, who was killed by police in Toulouse in March after he shot dead three soldiers, a rabbi, and three Jewish children. French President François Hollande met with French Jewish leaders and promised increased security. “Nothing will be tolerated,” Hollande said. “Any act, any remark will be prosecuted with the greatest firmness.”
Athens Merkel unwelcome: Chanting and waving Nazi flags, tens of thousands of angry Greeks demonstrated outside parliament this week to protest a visit by German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Banners read “Merkel out” and “Greece is not your colony.” Many Greeks blame Germany for forcing their government to slash salaries and benefits and raise taxes in exchange for an economic bailout. Police pushed the crowds back by firing tear gas, injuring at least 30 people. Some 300 were arrested. Merkel said she understood that “many people are suffering,” but she held off on promises of more aid pending a review of Greece’s progress on reforms so far. “Being thorough is more important than being quick,” she said.