Urgent Action Letter-Writing
Megaliths of Carnac, France
Carnac, located in northern France, is known for its four sets of alignments
of megalithic menhirs or standing stones: Le Menec, Kermario, Kerlescan and Petit Menec. There are also remains of several cromlechs or stone rings. A cromlech is located at each end of the alignments of Le Menec and it is presumed to be the same at each end of Kermario.
The site, unfortunately, suffers from a badly conceived management plan. Green metal fences and netting imprison the stones and prevent visitors from experiencing the site. Bulldozers were even brought in to move stones for the fences. A parking lot is badly positioned and interferes with the sanctity of the site. Low-lying bushes, gorse shrubs, are not trimmed properly at the base of the stones. The state has changed zoning laws to allow development near the main alignments and tried to evict small farmers.
A French preservation activist group, called Menhirs Libres, has been trying to rectify the mismanagement at the site. They successfully won a lawsuit against the development of a theme park, Menhirland, at the site.
They have drawn up a list of requests for the site and have asked SSIF members to join a letter-writing campaign to various decision-makers. Their list is as follows:
Please send support letters to:
- Remove unsightly fences and netting and replace with cording strung between posts.
- Stationing guards and/or site monitors around the site to prevent vandalism.
- Free access to the entire site without charge
- Smaller parking lot located away from the menhirs
- Control shrubs growing at base of stones. (These thorny bushes actually provide a natural buffer between the stones and visitors.)
- Respect the environment, people's nearby property and possessions.
- Public meetings to improve communication and to work out the management issues.
- Application for UNESCO World Heritage status.
Ministre Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres
Ministère de la culture et communication
3, rue de Valois
75100 Paris, France
Mr. Antoine Lataste
Centre des Monuments nationaux
Accueil de Kermario, B.P. 152
56 343 Carnac, France
Mme. Elisabeth Gautier-Desvaux
Director Michel Clément
Direction de l'architecture et du patrimoine
182, rue Saint-Honoré, Paris, France
Préfète Mme Elisabeth Allaire
Préfecture du Morbihan
Place du Général-de-Gaulle BP 501
56019 Vannes Cedex, France
Mr. Joseph-François Kergueris
2 rue Saint-Tropex BP 400
56000 Vannes, France
Mr. Grall, Mayor
Mairie de Carnac
Place de la Chapelle
56340 Carnac, France
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