Two men suspected of stealing a bronze monument in France commemorating the 1915-1917 mass killings of Armenians have been arrested in a Paris suburb, police said.
The two apparently stole the 300-kilogram (660-pound) sculpture, which showed the Armenian alphabet, and melted it down to sell it off as scrap metal, investigators said. Officers said they did not believe there was a political motive for the theft, which occurred two days after the French parliament adopted a bill that, if it eventually becomes legislation, will make it a crime to deny the Armenian slaughter was anything less than genocide by Ottoman Turks.
The October 13 theft of the monument just west of Paris attracted international attention because of the political context, and because of Turkey's furious reaction to the proposed French bill.
The two suspects, aged 26 and 29, were arrested in the southwest Paris suburb of Issy-les-Moulineaux after the theft of copper pipes in the area.