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Dunkirk man leaves town €1.8m – and a headache

Bequest is a bonus for Channel town... but it also comes with two conditions

A late Dunkirk resident has left almost two million euros in his will to his former town, but said the money could only be used if the Mairie accepted two very clear conditions

Marcel Delhaye, former resident of the Nord town, died just over one year ago on March 8 2017.

He left €1.8 million in inheritance, including the amount from the sale of his house and money found in six life insurance policies. After confirming that no-one else would be in line for the cash after he died, Mr Delhaye left the amount in his will to the Mairie of Dunkirk.

Yet, the will said that the town would only be allowed to accept the money if it also accepted two very clear conditions.

The first specified that some of the money must be put towards the building of a retirement home in Mr Delhaye’s former commune. The second specified that a memorial plaque in honour of Mr Delhaye - and bearing an image of his face - should be placed in the Malo-les-Bains cemetery.

The Mairie has accepted both conditions, even though the amount will not cover the retirement home costs completely (indeed, a study by architecture paper Le Moniteur showed that an average 70-place retirement home in France costs over €7m to build).

Mr Delhaye appeared to predict this, however, specifying that the Mairie itself should provide the “extra” amount “if needed”.

As for the second condition, the Mairie has said that the plaque in honour of Mr Delhaye and showing his face will be built, as long as it is not “too flashy”.

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