The Carnac Alignments are 7000 years of history 2877 menhirs spread over 4 km a place of habitation from prehistory to today, with a number of houses, farms, an equestrian centre, roads and footpaths.

It was an old story, even in the seventies when Mr Bonnet, Mayor of Carnac
and former Minister, said, "It's time the stones became profitable".

In the eighties
The stones are neglected, covered in luxuriant vegetation. For seven years the State takes charge of their maintenance, using tractors and weedkiller to destroy the vegetation and leave the ground bare.

The Minister for Culture announces a project called "Grand Carnac" with the purpose of restoring and developing the site. On the pretext that tourism is responsible for destroying the vegetation, the project foresees the total closure of the alignments. Also announced is the future acquisition of land around the menhirs - some 250 ha - for the development of tourism. Ten km of steel fencing is built around the menhirs at a cost of 6,4 million Fr (or 976,000 €) ; watchmen are recruited for security.
The "Archéoscope" visitor building is constructed in concrete by a private company, close to the Ménec Alignments, authorized by the State despite it's being illegal because close to an historic monument.
A temporary viewing platform is built overlooking the Kermario Alignments, "very ugly" according to the Mayor of Carnac, yet he signs the authorisation, at a cost of 1,6 million Fr (or 244,000 €).

Expenditure (at taxpayer expense) of 100 million Fr (or 15,245,000 €) is forecast for diverting roads, expropriating people, acquiring 120 ha of land, and building a massive reception centre. Our bulletin "Le Menhir Libre" is launched to reveal the unsavoury background of this purely commercial business proposal. Following pressure from the local population the temporary viewing platform is taken down at a cost of 64,000 €. Some months later a new welcome centre, also provisional, is set up in a more discreet location.

A Public Interest Enquiry is held ; 87 % of public opinion is unfavourable to the project. Nevertheless the Inspectors' opinion is favourable. Menhirs Libres starts legal proceedings.

The Declaration of Public Interest is issued. Menhirs Libres takes the matter before the Rennes Tribunal asking that it be quashed.

Giugno 1998
Landholding enquiry ; 250 ha are sought, and more than 250 Carnac people affected by expropriation. The "standing stones" rebel and go to Paris in November ; 800 people demonstrate at the Ministry of Culture. An arbitrator is appointed - PJ Mohen, Director of French Museums. The Rennes Tribunal dismisses the appeal by Menhirs Libres.

The Mohen report is published on the internet with a press campaign from the Ministry, repeating the previous project with a few changes of detail.

Menhirs Libres submits a petition with 17300 signatures to the European Parliament in Brussels.

A 41-day peaceful occupation of the old viewing site, asking the State to return its gigantic project to the drawing-board (2300 square metres of building work, parking charges, shops, the expropriation of property) The Association Menhirs Libres wins its appeal before the Nantes Tribunal. The Declaration of Public Interest is annulled since it violates the coastline law - the menhirs are less than 2km from the sea - and the town planning code. The Minister of Culture visits the site and says he wants to see a project with a light touch which has respect for the environment and for local people.

The Archéoscope ceases to be a private business and becomes the Welcome Centre for the Ministry of Culture.

Thanks to the actions led by the Association Menhirs Libres, landowners expropriated by the State get back their property.

The State creates a new organisation : G.I.P.C. (Public Interest and Cultural Group) whose the mission is to prepare a new project.

The new plans are being prepared in the back-rooms of the Government, in silence. No information has reached us. Why ?
Public opinion will be angered if they persist with the idea of wanting to make a profit out of our ancestors' legacy...