Man briefly holes up inside French museum, writes threatening messages in Arabic
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Man briefly holes up inside French museum, writes threatening messages in Arabic

Suspect detained after standoff at archaeology museum in Saint-Raphael; one of his messages said ‘the museum is going to become a hell’

Illustrative. A French policeman standing with his equipment, April 12, 2019. (Christophe SIMON / AFP)
Illustrative. A French policeman standing with his equipment, April 12, 2019. (Christophe SIMON / AFP)

NICE, France — A man briefly holed up at a museum in southern France on Wednesday, where threatening messages in Arabic were written on the building’s walls, police said, before the suspect was detained and the four-hour standoff came to an end.

Police and a bomb disposal squad surrounded the archaeology museum in the Mediterranean town of Saint-Raphael, where the man had broke in overnight and refused to communicate with police, and officers were searching the site in case he had an accomplice, the top regional police official said.

One of the messages read “the museum is going to become a hell,” a source said earlier.

In a Twitter message police had warned people to avoid the area in the historic center of the resort town tucked between Cannes and Saint-Tropez.

“The entire neighborhood is locked down… We’ve been ordered to stay in the restaurant,” Sebastian, an employee at the Duplex restaurant opposite the museum, told the local Nice-Matin newspaper.

The museum, a historic monument, includes a medieval stone church and a vast collection of amphoras and other items from the region’s Roman history.

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