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France Reunion will work with Seychelles for the restoration of the Bel Air Cemetery

October 30, 2013 Tourist Boards No Comments Email Email

The 28th October declaration at the Bel Air Cemetery by the Madame Nassimah Dindar, the President of the General Council of La Reunion in the presence of President Didier Robert, the President of the Regional Council of La Reunion and H.E. Madame Genevieve Iancu, the French Ambassador to Seychelles is set to see the General Council of La Reunion provide know-how and support for the restoration of the tombs at the Bel Air Cemetery in the outskirts of Victoria, the Capital of the Seychelles.

PRESENTATION OF CEMETARY BELAIR PROJECTThis show of support by La Reunion follows the Official visit just months ago in La Reunion by the Seychelles President, Mr James Michel. “La Reunion will bring, not only their expertise in the restoration of the tombs, but they will also work to fence in the cemetery to ensure that the place is more secure” said Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture when he addressed the gathering at the Bel Air Cemetery.

This Bel Air cemetery was opened in the early 1780’s. It was the first burial place to be open after the creation of L’Etablissement du Roi by the French Government. The cemetery contains the grave and vaults of the first French settlers – the founding families of some of today’s generation. At the cemetery are the tombs of some notable personalities whose names are enshrined in the first chapter of the Seychelles history. Many graves were buried under mud and debris during the great landslide (lavalas) of 1862. Many were dislodged and washed away in the raging floods. Today, the rubble of broken tombs, dilapidated vaults and rusted wrought-iron crosses constitute precious fragments of the Seychelles history. The Bel Air cemetery was officially closed in1902. It was declared a National Monument in 1985.

At the ceremony Madame Nassimah Dindar, the President of the General Council of La Reunion, H.E. Madame Genevieve Iancu, the French Ambassador to Seychelles and Minister Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture addressed the ceremony in front of a new monument which carries details of the Bel Air Cemetery and the original map of that historical cemetery.

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