Garden gnomes cheer Franco-US ties

14th November 2003, Comments 0 comments

SAINT-DIE-DES-VOSGES, France, Nov 13 (AFP) - The plight of several dozen garden gnomes stolen in eastern France has touched the hearts of school-children in the United States and is casting a warm glow on an otherwise chilly trans-Atlantic relationship. Reports carried in US media of how the gnomes failed to find their owners when they were put on display in the town of Saint-Die-des-Vosges have led to a spate of letters from boys and girls offering themselves as foster-parents, local police said Thursday

SAINT-DIE-DES-VOSGES, France, Nov 13 (AFP) - The plight of several dozen garden gnomes stolen in eastern France has touched the hearts of school-children in the United States and is casting a warm glow on an otherwise chilly trans-Atlantic relationship.
 
Reports carried in US media of how the gnomes failed to find their owners when they were put on display in the town of Saint-Die-des-Vosges have led to a spate of letters from boys and girls offering themselves as foster-parents, local police said Thursday.

One note from a teenager in Florida reads: "I want to adopt a gnome so I can look after him and protect him. I will love him for ever. I love him already."

The gnomes were originally stolen in 2001 by the self-styled "Garden Gnomes Liberation Front," which then arranged them one night in December on the steps of Saint-Die's cathedral. Since then only one figurine has been reclaimed by its owner.

Saint-Die police said they were drawing up a letter in English telling their disappointed correspondents that the figurines cannot be exported.

They were planning to add a note explaining Saint-Die's little-known role in America's origins. It was in fact a group of printers from the town that in 1507 coined the name "America" after the explorer Amerigo Vespucci - earning Saint-Die the nickname "America's god-mother."

"We are just doing our bit for the Franco-US rapprochement," said Saint-Die prosecutor Eric Corbaux.


© AFP


Subject: French news





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