Locals find chocolate Verdun memorial distasteful

6th October 2005, Comments 0 comments

BAR-LE-DUC, France, Oct 6 (AFP) - Local politicians and veterans' groups reacted with fury Thursday after a bakers' association in northeast France announced a promotion in which a landmark World War I cemetery and memorial will be reproduced in chocolate.

BAR-LE-DUC, France, Oct 6 (AFP) - Local politicians and veterans' groups reacted with fury Thursday after a bakers' association in northeast France announced a promotion in which a landmark World War I cemetery and memorial will be reproduced in chocolate.

As part of the "Take a bite on Lorraine" campaign, the Federation of Bakers and Cakemakers of the Meuse plans to put on sale miniature versions of local monuments, including the Douaumont ossuary at Verdun where half a million French and German soldiers died in 1916.

"How can one 'bite on' a building where there lie the remains of 130,000 soldiers, anonymous and unknown heroes who gave their lives to save Verdun and stop the invader for good?" said Hubert Mangenot, the ossuary's president, in an open letter.

"Our soldiers who sleep in the cellars certainly never dreamed 90 years ago that they would be bitten into for the Christmas festivities," Mangenot said.

The mayor of Douaumont Marie-Claude Minmeister said that "the artisans of good taste have shown bad taste."

Association president Frédéric Bianchi retorted: "Our corporation left many baker-soldiers behind on the field of battle and could never be accused of lacking respect.

"In no way did we want to do business on the back of history, but merely to do our bit to make that history more widely known."

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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