Church bells are not noise polluters: Moselle mayor

A couple in an eastern French village is seeking €70,000 ($94,000) in damages over what they describe as chronic nocturnal noise disturbance from the nearby church bells.

The would-be victims from Sainte-Ruffine, a village of 600 inhabitants located in Moselle in the east of France, have been in a legal dispute with the mayor for decades over the booming bells.

But Mayor Jean-Claude Wannenmacher has consistently refused their request to put a stop to the hourly chime during the night.

After losing their first case against the village, the couple is now heading back to court. This time they are appealing the decision and asking for €70,000 in damages.

But the mayor is determined to win the case, even if only to protect the village coffers.

“For a village like ours, it is inconceivable. We cannot afford that,” he told newspaper Le Parisien. 

The mayor also pointed out that other inhabitants appreciate the bells and even find the evening sound “reassuring.”

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