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Victory for the petition against the so-called
"Mythical sector of the Normandy landing beaches"


Image : Petition agains the "mythical sector of the landing beaches"
 

June 7th, 2013.

Victory! This time, I can say for sure that the so-called "Mythical sector" project has been cancelled. Thanks to our repeated calls (relayed by the French and international press) and thanks to the success of the petition, the six tourist offices gave up their project. All in all, the petition obtained 3 714 signatures within only two months.

This debate, which was led by the DDay-Overlord website, has reached the highest authorities of the French State. As a consequence, an important decision was taken a few days before the 69th D-Day anniversary and this decision was made official on June 6th, 2013 by the French vice-minister of the War veterans, Kader Arif: the international ceremony of the 70th D-Day anniversary will take place on Sword Beach!

So ends this campaign for the conservation of the historic areas of Normandy. We need to remain attentive in order to prevent any other projects of that kind. Tourist offices and all those who intend to develop these kinds of ideas are warned! We won't let it happened. 

I thank you all for your commitment by my side and for the excellent conclusion of this campaign.

 

April 25th, 2013.

Have a look bellow at the 69th D-Day anniversary poster designed by these six tourist offices. The headlines are clear: "69th anniversary of D-Day", "D-Day", "Normandy". All the beaches names are present except Sword Beach. There is no trace of the Anglo-Canadian paratroopers sites. Once again, only the most famous (and most profitable) sites are shown. These six tourist offices continue to rewrite history.

Image: 69th D-Day anniversary poster

We will not stop our "fight" until the six tourist offices have clearly announced that they will put an end to their project and they do not wish to continue it in any form whatsoever.

At the time when we have to gather to prepare the remembrances ceremonies of the 70th anniversary of the Normandy landing, here is an unfortunate initiative which divides us.

Cancel your project for good!


 
April 22nd, 2013.
 
 

Translation : "Press release: Monday 22nd April 2013. The committee composed of six tourist offices leading the reflection on a tourist territory called "mythical sector of the landing beaches" takes into account the comments following the presentation of its reflection. According to the study methodology exposed during the initial presentation, the committee notes that the choice of the name and the perimeter of this destination has to be the object of additional reflections.

It formulates the wish that the same intransigence should be applied about the localisation of the 2014 D-Day internation ceremony. Indeed, the previous commemorations editions took place on Utah in 1984, Omaha Beach in 1994 and Arromanches in 2004."

 

Marc Laurenceau's opinion: Is it a message of renunciation? The end of the project? I do not believe it a single second.

Six tourist offices announce that all of this was only a "project". Nevertheless, the map presented during the first press statement shows no inscription such as "project", or "temporary". The title is eloquent: "Mythical sector of the landing beaches".

The press statement released by the representatives of the "mythical sector", dated April 22, 2013, implies the maintenance of their initial intentions, under another name and if possible in a wider area. The statement also condemned the work of associations such as Normandie Memoire and the D-Day Commitee, which are already working on commemorations and tourism. Why do these "mythical sector" officials continue to believe that they can still gather other sectors, when these other sectors do not want to be part of it since they are already part of Normandie Memoire and the D-Day Commitee? Should we see here an expression of an "associative coup"?

The six tourist offices continue to hope that they can create their own history memory tour, without being dependent on anyone, so without safeguards. We should fear such a thing since their first action was a deplorable moral mistake: they believed that they were able to separate "mythical beaches" from simple beaches.

 

April 8th, 2013.

The facts.

Six Normandy tourist offices took the initiative to create the "mythical sector of the landing beaches" relying on actual tourism and tourist operators figure. Some of the landing beaches and drop zones were not integrated, such as a part of Juno Beach, Sword Beach and the area of the 6th Airborne Division north of Caen.

This initiative was made without consultation with either the General Council of Basse-Normandie or the French Normandie-Mémoire and D-Day Committee associations which already support tourism and commemorations for all municipalities affected by the landing and battle Normandy.


The reactions: Leon Gautier, president of the Free France Commandos veterans, has already protested against this initiative, as well as Admiral Brac de La Perrière, president of the Normandie-Mémoire and D-Day Committee associations.

"Forgotten" towns expressed their strong dissatisfaction with this unprepared and disrespectful decision to history. The six tourist offices consider that they "do tourism, and not history".


Marc Laurenceau's opinion: With such an initiative, six tourist offices (Bayeux Intercom, Bessin Seulles Sea Tourism, Marais de Carentan Tourist Office, Isigny-Grandcamp-Intercom, Omaha Beach Tourist Office and Sainte-Mere-Eglise Tourist Office) develop history tourism without worrying about history. What they consider is money.

The American sector and the town of Arromanches (included in this so-called "mythical sector") attract more than 85% of the Battle of Normandy tourists.  Instead of making an effort on Sword Beach and the Commonwealth drop zones, these six tourist offices just care about the most popular areas. What will think the English and French veterans who landed at La Brèche-d'Hermanville on D-Day ? What will think those who were parachuted northeast of Ranville ? What about their fallen comrades, killed to free a piece of land that is not considered "mythical" enough according to these six tourist offices?

I ask that officials responsible for this so-called "mythical sector of the landing beaches" cancel the project.

History tourism is great, but it should not forget to respect the history. Furthermore, the Normandie-Mémoire and D-Day Committee associations are perfectly capable of organizing commemorations and tourism in Normandy, this is what they do every year.

I started a petition which aims at alerting the population (and in particular the countries involved in the Battle of Normandy). I hope that thanks to it the "mythical sector" will soon be a bad memory.

 
 
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