On August 31, or 14 Fructidor of the Second Year of the Republic, Henri Grégoire, Bishop of Blois, presented his report to the French Convention. Devastated by many victims and destruction of the French Revolution and deeply saddened by the loss of art works, the holy father compared the then modern destroyers with the German tribes under command of King Gaiseric who smashed Rome into pieces in 455 A.D. These were vandals and therefore bishop Grégoire branded similar actions of the rebellious mob vandalism. He was the first to do it. But such priority brought Henri Grégoire no joy. Many years later, he wrote in memoirs: “I coined a word to kill the action it denotes.” Idle hopes. The word is used but the action lives on.
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