Couple fined over 'sex games' at war memorial

John Lichfield
Tuesday 29 July 2008 00:00
Comments

A French couple has been fined €1,000 for making a pornographic video at Vimy Ridge, one of the most revered memorials of the First World War.

The incident is said to be part of a pattern of late night sexual activities at the memorial park, near Arras in northern France, which was granted "in perpetuity" to the people of Canada in 1922. Another couple was fined for taking nude photographs of each other in the park last January. In both cases, the images were posted on paying sites on the internet.

"The memorial has been frequented by exhibitionists and voyeurs for many years but the coming of the internet has made it easier to trace the culprits," the deputy regional public prosecutor, Elise Bozzolo, said.

In the latest incident, a married couple in their 30s made a video of themselves performing sexual acts in the grounds of the park after its closure to the public at dusk. Vimy Ridge was captured from the Germans by mostly Canadian troops in April 1917. It has become, with the Newfoundland Memorial Park on the Somme battlefield, one of the two great symbols of Canadian sacrifice in the Great War.

The husband and wife were found guilty of exhibitionism and each was fined €500 and given a four-month suspended jail sentence. They were also ordered to pay one euro in symbolic damages to the Canadian government.

The couple, from Béthune, in the Pas-de-Calais, said they enjoyed "sexual games" and had not realised the significance of the site.

Other British and Canadian First World War cemeteries and memorials in northern France have been vandalised in recent years, often by small local groups of Nazi sympathisers. Local politicians have been at pains to point out that neither the vandalism nor the sexual activity reflects the attitude of the vast majority of local people, who take very seriously their "duty of memory" to the Allied war dead.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in