Strange support for Rocher-Mistral from the Prefect of Bouches-du-Rhône

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Worker drilling a plane tree at the Château de La Barben
Photo: La Tribune de l’Art
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The Administrative Court of Aix-en-Provence has rejected the appeal lodged by the Prefect of Bouches-du-Rhône, who is also the Prefect of the PACA region. The Prefect wanted to open up a road for car traffic to allow visitors to the Rocher-Mistral park, which had been convicted of multiple breaches of the law at first instance, to park in an illegal car park that his own administration had banned.
Just writing this sentence is almost surreal, especially as we could add that the prefect dared to accuse the village mayor of ‘misuse of power and procedure’, which is particularly serious.

But who is abusing power here? The mayor or the prefect? How can the latter justify his position? It’s hard to believe that he’s really in charge. It’s also hard to believe that the Ministry of Culture, whose DRAC has so far assumed its responsibilities - sometimes timidly, as the unauthorised work inside the château is not yet the subject of legal proceedings - is in the camp of Rocher-Mistral’s defenders.

So we have to wonder about the action taken at the highest level of government. What pressure, and from whom, could have been brought to bear to force a prefect, who up until now has had a fairly good reputation, to go off the rails in this way?
Ethicpol, an association that fights political corruption, took an interest in this affair last September when it reported the many breaches of the law on the site to the public prosecutor. It also notes that: ‘that the judgement does not take into account the serious environmental damage, especially as Rocher-Mistral has just vandalised listed trees (see article)’ and is looking for lawyers specialising in all these aspects, as well as in the use of public funds, who would be willing to take on this case, ‘Pro Bono’.

La Tribune de l’Art, which is committed to protecting our heritage, naturally encourages its readers who are lawyers and who have the same battles at heart to contact this association. It really is time to put an end to this bad comedy.

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