• France's news in English
 

Murdered boy's image used for kindergarten ad

Malcolm Curtis · 17 Jul 2013, 12:05

Published: 17 Jul 2013 12:05 GMT+02:00

The photo of French boy Grégory, who was killed in a notorious murder at the age of four in 1984, was used to advertise the festival's own “kindergarden” in its daily publication, Montreux Jazz Chronicle, on Saturday.

The murder of the child, who was found in a river in the Vosges region of France after his parents received anonymous threatening letters, has never been solved.

Thierry Moser, a lawyer for the parents of the murdered boy, said they were outraged by what happened.

Moser had demanded an initially apology but on Wednesday announced that the parents are considering suing the festival's organisers.

"We intend to sue for compensation for the damage that has been caused," Moser told local TV station France 3 Lorrainen, before later telling  told Europe 1 that the parents had received a letter of apology from the festival and that they were still considering their options.

"The letter has made a good impression, but I do not want to prejudge the decision still to be taken by Christine and Jean-Marie Villemin," he added.

SEE ALSO: GREGORY VILLEMIN, THE SMILING BOY WHOSE MURDER HAUNTS FRANCE

Contacted by Le Huffington Post, the French-language online news site on Tuesday, Mathieu Jaton, managing director of the Swiss music festival, said the embarrassing use of the photo was a regrettable “human error”.

The image was downloaded by a “very young person who did not know of the [murder] case,” Jaton said.

He emphasized that it was not a “bad joke” but rather a convergence of “stupid circumstances”.

Festival chief Jaton said the error was noticed too late to change the paper version of the Montreux Jazz Chronicle but the electronic version was immediately modified.

The editor of the Montreux Jazz Chronicle, who did not spot the blunder in time, has also taken his shared of responsibility, a spokesman for the festival told Europe1 radio. Copies of the newspaper were immediately withdrawn from circulation after they realised the error, the spokesman added.

Gregory's parents and their lawyer have rejected the explanation.

"The argument that the error was committed by a young beginner is pitiful," lawyer Moser said. 

"The mistake is absolutely inexcusable and we believe it was a stunt organized by the festival. (...) There is no excuse that is acceptable," the lawyer added.

The Montreux Jazz Festival, one of Switzerland's best known summer music festivals, held in the lakeside town overlooking Lake Geneva, runs until July 20th.

A version of this article first appeared in The Local Switzerland on July 17th.

Story continues below…

Malcolm Curtis (news.france@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
'Video row has ruined trade': Paris attacks restaurant owner
Flowers in tribute to the November 13th attack victims are displayed in front of the "Casa Nostra" restaurant. Photo: Patrick Kovarik

'Video row has ruined trade': Paris attacks restaurant owner
41 minutes ago

A Paris restaurant hit in last November’s terror attacks officially reopened Friday - with the owner complaining business had been ruined by claims he sold footage of the onslaught to a British newspaper.

France kicks off Six Nations amid tight security
France's rugby union team captain Guilhem Guirado. Photo: Franck Fife/AFP

France kicks off Six Nations amid tight security
4 hours ago

France and Italy kick-off the Six Nations on Saturday under a massive security operation as international sport returns to Paris's Stade de France for the first time since suicide bombers targeted the city on November 13.

First French 'neutral gender' defends 'being genderless'
Photo: Whitecatsg/Flickr

First French 'neutral gender' defends 'being genderless'
20 hours ago

The first French person to be given the designation "neutral gender" appeared in court on Friday to testify in an appeal of the decision.

And the 'Liar of the year' award goes to Marine Le Pen
Marine Le Pen. Photo: AFP

And the 'Liar of the year' award goes to Marine Le Pen
21 hours ago

National Front leader Marine Le Pen has been voted as the "biggest liar" of 2015. But why?

Only in France - pig's entrails sold in vending machines
Photo: Kent Wang/ FLickr

Only in France - pig's entrails sold in vending machines
22 hours ago

As Paris gets its first automatic meat dispenser it seems "Only in France" could you buy bread, cheese, steak and pig's intestines from 24-hour street vending machines.

Calais: UN slams 'appalling' conditions for migrant kids
Children in the Jungle camp in Calais. Photo: AFP

Calais: UN slams 'appalling' conditions for migrant kids
1 day ago

This time it's the United Nations that has blasted France for the conditions at Calais.

Americans in France
Where do Americans choose to live (or avoid) in France?
Photo: AFP

Where do Americans choose to live (or avoid) in France?
1 day ago

Can you guess which region in France only 55 Americans call home?

How Paris plans to become a 'model' of cleanliness - really
The Canal Saint Martin area of Paris that has been plagued by litter problems. Photo: AFP

How Paris plans to become a 'model' of cleanliness - really
1 day ago

Yes, you read that right.

State of Emergency
Emergency powers 'helped foil a terror attack': French PM
Photo: AFP

Emergency powers 'helped foil a terror attack': French PM
1 day ago

The French PM defended the ongoing state of emergency in France on Friday claiming that the sweeping powers helped them foil a terror attack.

Airbnb hands over €1.2 million in tourist tax to Paris coffers
Photo: AFP

Airbnb hands over €1.2 million in tourist tax to Paris coffers
1 day ago

Airbnb moves to appease critics by handing over €1.2 million in tourist taxes to Paris City Hall.

Sponsored Article
US taxes and FATCA: 'The time for hiding is over'
Travel
Wait... that's not snow! Check out France's most unique ski slope
Culture
Don't panic, France isn't bidding a final adieu to the circumflex
Culture
VIDEO: UK group performs Shakespeare for Calais refugees
National
France cuts more red tape: E.G. No license needed to collect horse's sperm
Gallery
How France could really simplify the French language (for us learners)
Culture
Say good bye to 'oignon': How 2,400 French words will get new spellings
Sport
US calls on French help to prevent 'Paris-style' attack at Super Bowl
Culture
Betty Blue star Béatrice Dalle says she ate a dead man's ear (while on acid)
Analysis & Opinion
It's no surprise the French are losing faith in Hollande's war on terror
Culture
What's on: Here are 10 great things to do in France in February
Culture
The 300-metre monument Paris could have had instead of the Eiffel Tower
How a drunken stunt with a mattress on an Alps ski slope ended in tragedy
Culture
Chandeleur - The day the French get superstitious
Culture
Did fear of losing success drive top French chef to commit suicide?
See what changes in France from February 1st
Culture
'S**t! B**lox!'- Ramsay sees Versailles restaurant lose star
Lifestyle
Le Chandeleur: Why do the French eat crêpes on February 2nd?
Culture
Mad Max director to head Cannes Film Festival jury
National
'And what if your daughter married a Muslim?' - Survey shocks France
Features
Are these really 'the only streets in Paris' you need to go to?
Culture
Is the Michelin guide worth the paper it's written on?
Society
VIDEO: See the Canal Saint-Martin in Paris in 1926
Society
Is this the simple solution for Brits stressed out by driving in France?
3,534
jobs available