1,000 to receive France's Legion of Honour

10th April 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, April 9, 2007 (AFP) - France's Legion of Honour, the country's highest civilian award, will be conferred on about 1,000 people including some who helped save Jews from Nazi death camps, the government said Sunday.


PARIS, April 9, 2007 (AFP) - France's Legion of Honour, the country's highest civilian award, will be conferred on about 1,000 people including some who helped save Jews from Nazi death camps, the government said Sunday.

Besides the 153 "righteous of France" who kept Jews from being deported to concentration camps during World War II, others included billionaire businessman Francois Pinault and actor Jean-Paul Belmondo.

The 153 are among those recognised by Israel as "righteous among the nations" for their role in saving Jews from the Holocaust. Some 2,725 have been recognised in France, the largest number after Poland and the Netherlands, and 16,000 in Europe as a whole.

Pinault is considered one of France's richest and most influential men and is a close friend of President Jacques Chirac. He began in the timber trade, moving later into finance, the sugar industry and retail.

But he spurned France when seeking a location to display part of his vast art collection after administrative delays kept him from opening a foundation on an island in the river Seine. He chose Venice's Palazzo Grassi instead.

Other famous names in the list include cosmetics entrepreneur Yves Rocher and designer Marithe Girbaud.

Director Rachid Bouchareb was also named. His recent film, "Indigenes" -- released in English under the title "Days of Glory" -- told the story of North African soldiers who fought for France in World War II.


Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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