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Mourners gather at the tomb of former French President General Charles de Gaulle in 1970
Mourners gather at the tomb of former French President General Charles de Gaulle in 1970Image: picture-alliance/AP Photo

France outraged by desecration of de Gaulle tomb

May 28, 2017

Two suspects have stomped on the grave of the wartime hero and kicked off its cross, police said. The act of vandalism has sent shockwaves across France's political landscape, with politicians expressing sheer outrage.

https://p.dw.com/p/2dhsY

French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday called on authorities to quickly repair the tomb of former President General Charles de Gaulle after two suspects vandalized the site.

Macron said that De Gaulle's memory is "dear to all French people." French politicians, including Prime Minister Edouard Philippe and far-right leader Marine Le Pen, slammed the act of vandalism against the wartime hero's tomb.

"Sadness and consternation: The act of vandalism committed on the tomb of General de Gaulle is an act against France," said Philippe in a tweet.

"Shame on those who vandalized General de Gaulle's tomb. It has dealt a blow to my patriotic heart," said Budget Minister Gerald Darmanin.

De Gaulle is revered in France as a wartime hero for leading French liberation forces in World War II and founding the country's Fifth Republic. He also served as the French president for a decade and ended the country's colonial war in Algeria.

The suspects kicked off the large cross that adorned the top of the tomb
The suspects kicked off the large cross (seen above) that adorned the top of the tombImage: picture-alliance/dpa/F. Nascimbeni

Search for suspects

Police said they were searching for two suspects for stomping on the tomb and kicking off its 1.5-meter-high (4.9-feet-high) cross.

Frederic Nahon, the public prosecutor of the town Chaumont, said the tomb is under round-the-clock video surveillance, which provided authorities with images of the suspects committing the act of vandalism.

De Gaulle's tomb is located in the eastern village of Colombey-les-Deux-Eglises, where he lived and died. He is buried next to his wife Yvonne de Gaulle and daughter Anne de Gaulle. His grave draws thousands of visitors each year.

ls/rc (AP, Reuters, AFP)

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