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Paris' Sacre Coeur basilica defaced with spray-painted graffiti denouncing state, church

France Defaced Sacre Coeur-1.jpg

A worker cleans the graffiti at entrance of the Sacre Coeur basilica in the Montmartre district of Paris, Wednesday, March 19, 2014. There were no immediate claims of responsibility for graffiti found at the iconic basilica. Graffiti on the floor reads: Down with any authority. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus) (The Associated Press)

France's interior minister says unknown vandals spray-painted graffiti on Sacre Coeur basilica in Paris.

Interior Minister Manuel Valls on Wednesday condemned the anti-church and anti-state vandalism on the entrance door, walls and floor overnight Monday to Tuesday. Clean-up crews were deployed to erase the words.

The Sacre Coeur, or Sacred Heart, basilica offers eye-popping views of Paris atop the trendy Montmartre neighborhood. Millions of visitors trek there each year.

Consecrated in 1919, Sacre Coeur was approved as a project by the government decades earlier in an effort to restore moral values following the ill-fated Paris Commune revolt of 1871 in which thousands died.

Valls says authorities are working to identify and arrest the vandals.