How One Man’s Peaceful Creation Has Become An Iconic Symbol For Paris

Twitter/Jean Jullien

A simple painting by a French artist quickly went viral in the wake of the Paris terror attacks last night and has come to stand as the symbol for those standing in solidarity with the victims and everyone affected by the horrific events in the city.

Jean Jullien, a graphic designer who lives and works in London, simply altered the iconic peace symbol to include the outline of the Eiffel Tower.

He then tweeted it and posted it on his Facebook page alongside the caption ‘Peace for Paris’, where it quickly racked up tens of thousands of retweets and likes.

Within minutes, the striking and powerful image had already been mistaken for the work of another, more high profile artist – Banksy.

Fan account @therealbanksy shared Jullien’s image, with the same caption, which led thousands of followers to wrongly attribute the work to the famous Bristol street artist.

However, it was Jullien who painted the small piece, and he later said he drew the picture shortly after he saw the news.

Speaking to the Telegraph, he said:

It was my most direct reaction. Usually when I draw I make an image that will make people laugh, or communicate. But this time I felt like communicating something that made me and everybody very upset. It was just my way of sharing my reaction, of sharing a need for peace and solidarity in the face of such a disaster.

The striking nature of the image, and the hope it represents, meant it was shared by various celebrities and it even led to the development of the hashtag #PeaceforParis – a powerful statement which is now intrinsically linked with the picture.