• France edition
 
Murdered boy's image used for kindergarten ad
The face of Grégory Villemin, a four-year-old boy found murdered in 1984. This image was used by a Swiss festival's publication to advertise a kindergarten. Photo: AFP

Murdered boy's image used for kindergarten ad

Published: 17 Jul 2013 12:05 GMT+02:00
Updated: 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 Copies of the newspaper were immediately withdrawn from circulation after they realised the error, the spokesman added.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.

Malcolm Curtis (news@thelocal.fr)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
French PM takes a swipe at eurozone's policies
French MP Manuel Valls has blasted the eurozone's economic policies. Photo: Pierre Andrieu/AFP

French PM takes a swipe at eurozone's policies

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has launched a timely tirade against European finance chiefs for their ineffective economic policies. It comes as indicators show the French economy's recovery is lagging behind its neighbours. READ  

Holiday travel chaos
Steer clear of French motorways, drivers told
Stay off the roads in France this weekend, unless you need to travel that is, in which case prepare for delays. Photo: AFP

Steer clear of French motorways, drivers told

Drivers in France are being warned to steer clear of French motorways on Friday night and Saturday. With July and August holidaymakers set to cross over, the weekend is set be one of the busiest of the year on French roads. READ  

Plan to make stores give unsold food to charity
French lawmakers are trying to make it illegal for big supermarkets to throw away food. Photo: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP

Plan to make stores give unsold food to charity

A collective of French lawmakers have proposed legislation that would force larger supermarkets to donate out of date food to charity rather than throw it away. The politicians behind it say waste is “the scourge of our consumer society.” READ  

France gets tough on anti-Semitism and racism
France's top cop cop urges crackdown on anti-Semitic acts. Photo: Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP

France gets tough on anti-Semitism and racism

France’s 'top cop' has been forced to remind local authorities of their duty to report all acts of racism and anti-Semitism to law enforcement officials so culprits can be prosecuted. The move comes as the Gaza crisis has led to increased tensions in France. READ  

Paris police lose 51 kilos of cocaine at HQ
Police police are looking for 51 kilos of cocaine they have lost. Photo: Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP

Paris police lose 51 kilos of cocaine at HQ

Paris police have lost 51 kilos of cocaine that were locked up in the legendary police headquarters in the city centre. This embarrassing lapse comes mere months after a much more serious case of misconduct at the same building. READ  

French bombard Google with pleas to be forgotten
Thousands of French have bombarded Google with requests to be forgotten - more than any other nationality in Europe. Photo: AFP

French bombard Google with pleas to be forgotten

French internet users have bombarded Google with requests for links to be deleted from the search engine, but the internet giant has told European officials it's proving difficult to clear their memories. READ  

Gaza crisis
Thousands march in Paris to back Israel
Around 5,000 marched in Paris on Thursday in support of Israel as the Middle East crisis continues. Photo: Dominique Faget/AFP

Thousands march in Paris to back Israel

Around 5,000 people joined a pro-Israel demo in Paris on Thursday evening to show their support for the Jewish state as it continues its bombardment of Gaza amid growing international criticism. READ  

French telecom giant Free bids for T-Mobile US
France's Iliad, which operates Free, has bid for a contolling stake in US carrier T-Mobile. Photo: Eric Piermont/AFP

French telecom giant Free bids for T-Mobile US

French upstart telecom operator Iliad, which operates Free, said on Thursday it has bid for a controlling stake in US carrier T-Mobile, offering an alternative to a potential tie-up with rival Sprint. READ  

Jean Jaures: France pays homage 100 years on
President François Hollande takes a coffee in Cafe du Crossaint where Jean Jaurès was assassinated 100 years ago. Photo: Yoan Valat/Pool/AFP

Jean Jaures: France pays homage 100 years on

On Thursday France paid tribute to one of its greatest political leaders who was assassinated in a Paris café exactly 100 years ago. Politicians on the left and the right are still fighting over the legacy of leftist hero Jean Jaurès. READ  

Air Algérie crash: To ID victims 'may take years'
It may take years to identify the remains of the passengers killed in the Air Algérie crash. Photo: Sia Kambou/AFP

Air Algérie crash: To ID victims 'may take years'

Identifying the remains of the 118 people killed last week when an Air Algérie flight crashed in Mali, including 54 French nationals, could take "months and maybe years," an Algerian police official said on Thursday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Travel
Air France strike set to hit holidaymakers. Latest info here
National
France honours Jean Jaurès, 100 years after he was assassinated
National
Nudity on the beaches of France: Dos and don'ts
National
Hospital opens patient wine bar with 'medically supervised' wine tasting
Society
Will France ban this violent Jewish fringe group?
Culture
Why are the days of going topless in France coming to an end?
Travel
Reckless or adventurous? US dad takes his two children up Mont Blanc
National
From manure to money: Ten bizarre facts about the French Parliament
Culture
Tourists picnic with rats in Louvre gardens
International
Is France really Europe's biggest public spenders?
National
Could your job in France soon be done by a robot?
National
Why you should think twice about feeding stray cats in France
National
And the new redrawn map of France will look like...?
Politics
Is French President François Hollande about to tie the knot?
International
Want a long-term visa? You may soon have to take a French test
International
Votes for foreigners: 'France would be giving up its sovereignty'
National
VIDEO: Stuntman jumps onto a moving Paris metro... and survives
Gallery
Forget 'faire l'amour', here's 15 top French expressions for making love
National
Report - 'Anti-Semitic' riots in France: 'We may leave for Israel'
National
Paris Plages: Here's 10 reasons to head down to the city beach
International
'Mont Blanc is like Disneyland. It's time to end the free-for-all'
Travel
Fancy climbing Mont Blanc? Here's 10 reasons to think twice about it
Gallery
Looking for a weird museum in Paris? Here's 10 that are worth a visit
Sponsored Article
CurrencyFair: Why it pays when making overseas transfers
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se