Flaming French drone targets anti-Trump art

US actor Shia LaBeouf (on left) first installed his artistic protest against President Donald Trump in New York, but it has moved several times after coming under attack. (AFP Photo/TIMOTHY A. CLARY)
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Nantes (France) (AFP) - American actor Shia LaBeouf's artistic protest against US President Donald Trump has been attacked again -- this time by vandals using a flaming drone in western France where it went on display this month.

The project, which features a white flag with the words "He Will Not Divide Us" filmed round-the-clock by a camera, has already moved several times from New York, to New Mexico and to Liverpool in Britain because of security problems.

Now installed above an art gallery in an old biscuit factory in the French city of Nantes, the flag came under attack overnight Tuesday-Wednesday by a drone, which attempted for several minutes to set it on fire.

The remotely-piloted arson attempt failed when the drone crashed.

"An unauthorised drone carrying a burning piece of cloth approached the flag to try to set it alight. The fireproof flag was undamaged and the attempt failed," Lieu Unique gallery said in a statement.

The project has been repeatedly targeted by pro-Trump activists since it began at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York on the day of the president's inauguration, January 20, 2017.

It began as a microphone-equipped camera mounted on a wall of the gallery in the Queens borough where Trump was born, and visitors were invited to chant the words "he will not divide us".

The footage was live-streamed on the project's website and was intended to be broadcast for the duration of Trump's four-year term.

After scuffles and arrests, it travelled to a cinema in Albuquerque, New Mexico until gunshots were reported nearby and then to the Liverpool's Foundation for Art and Creative Technology (FACT) centre where it was removed after "dangerous trespassing".

Local radio France Bleu Loire-Ocean reported Wednesday that there had already been "an attempted intrusion" at the gallery in Nantes, which put the flag on display on October 16 and intends to keep it in public view.

The work is the brainchild of "Transformers" star LaBeouf, as well as Finnish artist Nastja Sade Ronkko and British artist Luke Turner.

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