Protesters build igloos, deface Swiss National Bank in anticipation of Davos


Two protesters suspected of throwing red paint and spray-painting "SMASH WEF" (World Economic Forum) in black graffiti on the walls of the Swiss National Bank were arrested on Wednesday, Reuters reported

The two suspects are Swiss men aged 20 and 25, officials told Reuters. The damages are estimated to cost in the tens of thousands of Swiss francs. 

The suspects are believed to have been helped by others in defacing the central bank in Zurich in anticipation of the World Economic Forum at Davos, the annual gathering of the rich and powerful at the Swiss ski resort.

More from GlobalPost: Davos prepares for gloomy discussions

Around 2,600 of the world's top political and business leaders will be coming together from Jan. 25 to 29 to address global economic issues, including the euro zone debt crisis and the Arab Spring protests, CNN reported. 

The attendees will include royalty, billionaires like philanthropist George Soros, senior executives from Facebook and Google, and various heads of state. German Chancellor Angela Merkel will open this year's conference, the Associated Press reported

In the wake of the Occupy movement, which swept the world last year and drew attention to economic inequality, many see the World Economic Forum as "an elitist anomaly," as CNN writes. 

“We are in danger of completely losing the confidence of future generations,” Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum, told reporters in Geneva, Bloomberg reported. “We have the impression of a global burnout.”

Meanwhile, Occupy Davos is setting up camp: protesters unveiled their first igloo on Monday. When the camp, called Camp Igloo, is completed, it will include two heated teepees and a field kitchen alongside the igloos, which will house about 50 people in sub-zero temperatures during the forum, activists told Reuters

Officials have said protesters will not be permitted in Davos’ downtown during the meeting, World Radio Switzerland reported. They have reportedly not been asked to any of the conferences. 

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