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War tourism in France at WWI Somme memorial sites

War tourism in France at WWI Somme memorial sites
 
Sarah Elzas/RFI

Tens of thousands of people visit the cemeteries and memorial sites commemorating the 1916 Battle of the Somme in northern France. Many are British, and they come because family members fought and died in the First World War. Others come out of a curiosity for history. This year France is commemorating the centenary of the beginning of WWI, in 1914. The government is promoting what it calls 'memory tourism', to encourage people to visit the sites, like the Thiepval memorial, which is covered in the names of 70,000 British soldiers whose bodies were never found.


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