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Police seek witnesses after WWI memorial gates stolen in north France

The heavy metal gates normally protect the entrance of the Indian memorial in Neuve-Chapelle, and police say someone must have seen the theft

The memorial stands in remembrance of Indian soldiers who died during World War One Pic: maradon 333 / Shutterstock

Police have appealed for witnesses after thieves stole heavy metal gates from a major World War One war memorial in northern France.

The incident occurred at the Indian memorial in Neuve-Chapelle, Richebourg, Pas-de-Calais, some time between March 31 and April 6. 

The gates stolen are very heavy and normally protect the entrance of the memorial, which stands in remembrance of Indian soldiers who died during the conflict.

Given the gates’ weight and size, police suspect that the thieves must have had significant logistical support and that the theft must have taken some time, given that the gates were meticulously dismantled from the wider monument without leaving any other damage.

As a result, the gendarmerie believes that it is likely that someone saw something, and they have now launched an appeal for witnesses and information.

The investigation is still ongoing and no one has yet been questioned or arrested. 

Anyone with any information is requested to contact the Laventie gendarmerie on 03 21 27 62 17.

While war memorials usually escape the worst of metal thefts, the region was hit in 2007 and 2008 by the desecration of the Muslim square of the Notre Dame de Lorette memorial.

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