International Information Centre for Balkan Studies

French embassy says it will consider returning WW I memorial

November 15, 2023

The French Embassy in Pristina said on Wednesday evening that it would look into returning all the monuments and memorials at the Serbian WW I military cemetery back to their original positions following the displacement of the memorial to Serbian soldiers for an Armistice Day ceremony, the KoSSev news portal reported.

The French and German Ambassadors traditionally lay wreaths at the cemetery where Serbian and allied soldiers are buried but this year they decided to displace the central memorial plaque and place a plaque commemorating French KFOR troops. The decision drew fierce criticism from the Serbian community in Kosovo. A petition to return the memorial was launched and KoSSev editor in chief Tatjana Lazarevic wrote an open letter calling for the return of the memorial to its original position and saying she would consider returning her French Order of Merit.

“Given the current circumstances and emotions, the embassy will look into, with all sides, the technical possibilities of returning all the monuments on the military section of the cemetery to where they were earlier and that includes the new memorial to the French soldiers who lost their lives while serving with KFOR,” a statement said.

It also expressed regret over what the statement called “polemic over the reorganization of the memorials”. The statement ended calling for respect of the memory of all soldiers fallen in WW I.

Source:  https://n1info.rs/english/news/french-embassy-says-it-will-consider-returning-ww-i-memorial/

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