Editions:  Austria · Denmark · France · Germany · Italy · Norway · Spain · Sweden · Switzerland
Advertisement

Fury as executioner's torture collection is sold

Share this article

Fury as executioner's torture collection is sold
10:58 CEST+02:00

A French auction house is auctioning several hundred torture and execution devices, including hanging ropes and hand crushers, collected by one of France’s last executioners. Rights groups have condemned the show as "shocking".

Fernand Meyssonnier faced death everyday throughout his career as one of France’s last executioners. But it turns out that his profession was also a hobby.

Torture objects dating back over 300 years, from a hand-crusher to inquisition torture chairs, are included in the sale, which takes place next Tuesday in Paris. Death-related objects such as a bathtub that was used to hold heads are also up for purchase.

Meysonnier worked as an executioner in French-ruled Algeria in the late 1950s and early 1960s and collected several hundred torture devices and items related to the death penalty. He died in 2008.

Rights groups have attacked the auction, held by auctioneers Cornette de Saint-Cyr, as "shocking and immoral".

Amnesty International France, the Human Rights League and the Movement Against Racism (MRAP) have condemned the auction and say they will demonstrate against it.

The protesters say the government should not allow objects of torture to be sold privately. 

"If they have historical value, they should be in a museum, but we cannot let such objects, torture devices, be scattered around,"  MRAP official Henri Pouillot told AFP.

Meysonnier carried out 198 executions in Algeria between 1957 and the country’s independence in 1962, according to AFP. Organisers of the auction however insist none of the objects date back to Meysonnier’s activities in Algeria. 

Get notified about breaking news on The Local

Share this article

Advertisement

From our sponsors

The Swedish university where students tackle real-world problems

Ranked among the world’s best young universities in the QS Top 50 Under 50, Linköping University (LiU) uses innovative learning techniques that prepare its students to tackle the challenges of tomorrow.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Jobs
Click here to start your job search
Advertisement
Advertisement

Popular articles

Advertisement
Advertisement