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BRITTANY

Frenchman busts prized cliff for better view

A resident in a small town of Brittany, western France, was so intent on getting a sea view that he used a jackhammer to bust off part of an extremely rare two-billion-year-old rock formation outside his home.

Frenchman busts prized cliff for better view
On Monday the man was ordered to stop by local officials and reported to police. Jackhammer photo: Shutterstock

The unnamed resident decided that enough was enough last Thursday after years of a sea-less view in his home in Locquirec in the Finistère department of Brittany.

Seemingly without any regard for the town’s priceless heritage the man got hold of a jackhammer and began drilling into the priceless rocks Ouest-France reported.

On Monday the man stopped his demolition after being ordered to do so by authorities.

It turns out this isn’t the first time the man has been caught trying to clear his view.

According to Ouest-France the man had already made an attempt to budge one of the rocks in 2013, before being stopped by Dour ha Douar, an association specializing in the respect and protection of the environment.

Ironically, the association came across the resident in the midst of his renovation work during a guided tour of the town’s natural heritage. By Sunday a sign had appeared saying "Here the destruction of heritage". 

The rocks, which are formed from an extremely rare type of granite that no longer exists in Brittany, date back more than two billion years.

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BRITTANY

French town of Nantes votes for referendum on exiting Pays-de-la-Loire region

The French city of Nantes is to hold a referendum on exiting the Pays-de-la-Loire region and becoming part of Brittany instead.

French town of Nantes votes for referendum on exiting Pays-de-la-Loire region
Photo: AFP

On Friday the town council of Nantes voted in favour of requesting the French government organise a referendum so local people can have their say about whether they wish to remain in the Pays-de-la-Loire region or become part of Brittany – a region that many say the town has more historic and cultural connections to.

The vote on Friday was carried by 56 votes and concerns whether the département of Loire-Atlantique – which contains Nantes – should move regions.

READ ALSO The 20 essential maps you need to understand Brittany

 

The vote follows a petition in 2018 which gathered 105,000 signatures.

Nantes mayor Johanna Rolland said: “This strong citizen mobilisation cannot be ignored. It reflects the aspiration of our fellow citizens to be consulted to a greater extent, in a context of essential revitalisation of our democracy.”

The desire of people in the Loire-Atlantique to become Breton isn't new.
 
The départment was part of Brittany until World War II, when it was separated and made part of the neighbouring region by the Vichy government. That region eventually became the Pays-de-la-Loire in 1955.
 
The issue has been simmering since then and pro-Breton voices have become louder in recent years as they hope to take advantage of a law that allows départments to chose which region they belong to via a referendum.
 
The town, which is the historic seat of the Dukes of Brittany, also declared its intention to  “set up a permanent pluralist body to engage in a genuine consultation with the State on the organisation of this referendum, organise an in-depth debate on the issues and consequences of a redistribution in order to feed the citizen debate, and formulate proposals to strengthen cooperation between Nantes and the other Breton territories”. 
 
However the referendum will have to be approved by both the national government and the regional authorities.
 

France's regions were reorganised in 2016 and several were merged to create the current 13 regions of mainland France.

Brittany currently covers four départements – Ille-et-Vilaine, Côtes-d'Armor, Finistère and Morbihan – while Pays-de-la-Loire covers Loire-Atlantique, Maine-et-Loire, Mayenne, Sarthe and Vendée. Nantes is currently the largest town in the region.

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