Prehistoric standing stones in Brittany destroyed during construction of DIY store

Carnac Standing Stones ©Sophie de Roumanie

39 Carnac standing stones, some of them just part of a wall, have been destroyed to make way for a Mr.Bricolage DIY store, according to Christian Obeltz, the former vice-president of the association Menhirs libres.

Following this destruction, an association for the defense of heritage, Koun Breizh ("Breton memory", in Breton), has filed a complaint with the police. 

In a press release , Yvon Ollivier, spokesperson for Koun Breizh says "The objective of the complaint is less about tainting our city councilors, and more about trying to understand how such a decision could have taken root and succeeded. How this happened despite all the forms of protection provided for by law, and despite public authorities having started the process of registering this priceless Breton heritage with UNESCO".

Carnac (French pronunciation: ​[kaʁnak]; Breton: Karnag, pronounced [ˈkaːʁnaɡ]) is a commune beside the Gulf of Morbihan on the south coast of Brittany in the Morbihan department. Carnac is renowned for the Carnac stones – one of the most extensive Neolithic menhir collections in the world. Some structures as the Saint-Michel tumulus (5000BC), also in Carnac,  is the oldest in Europe.

Carnac has more than 10,000 Neolithic standing stones. Also known as menhirs (from breton long stone), the Carnac stones were erected during the Neolithic period which lasted from around 4500 BC until 2000 BC.The stones were hewn from local rock and erected by the pre-Celtic people of Brittany. The Morbihan department has 550 megalithic sites. Twenty-six municipalities came together to try to have them classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Many standing stones have been destroyed in the past. In the 19th century, under Napoleon 3rd, 700 stones forming a megalithic alignment like the one in Le Menec at Carnac and a stone circle, were removed to make room for agriculture at La Madeleine near Penmarc'h in the Finistère department.


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