Minister Todeschini previews Somme centenary commemorations
Jean-Marc Todeschini, Minister of State for Veterans and Remembrance at the Defence Ministry, annonces 8,000 tickets available via lottery for the centenary of the Battle of the Somme next July
29 September 2015
Jean-Marc Todeschini, Minister of State for Veterans and Remembrance at the Defence Ministry, has announced the opening of a public lottery with 8,000 tickets available for commemorations in Thiepval, France.
Speaking at an event organised by Atout France at the Ambassador’s Residence on Monday night, Minister Todeschini explained that the lottery is open to the British, French and Irish public and can be accessed by visiting the Somme 2016 website.
The reception was an occasion for the Minister to pay tribute to Franco-British cooperation in relation to the war commemorations and the events leading up to them, as well as to communicate to an audience of journalists and tour operators.
Following an opening address by Ambassador Bermann, and a speech by Minister Todeschini, François Bergez, Director of the French Departmental Tourism Committee unveiled the new Somme website, while David Thompson, from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, also spoke to attendees.
France is the second most popular country for Brits to visit. From June 2013 to June 2014 there were 175,000 British visits to commemoration sites in the Nord, Pas de Calais and Somme regions, of which 57 % were exclusively to the Somme region.