French President Emmanuel Macron has condemned as “unspeakable” the defacing of a memorial at the site of one of the worst atrocities carried out by the Nazis in France during World War Two.
Images of an inscription at the site in the village of Oradour-sur-Glane show the word “martyr” in the text “martyr village” replaced with “liar”.
The village was destroyed by SS troops in 1944, with 642 inhabitants killed.
The old village’s ruins are preserved just as they were after the massacre.
Philippe Lacroix, mayor of the new village, said he was shocked, adding: “We know what happened here but obviously there are always people who try to tell lies.”
Mr Macron said that everything would be done to track down and punish those responsible for the vandalism.
The act has been widely condemned by French officials.Prime Minister Jean Castex said he felt “anger” when he heard of the incident. “To soil this place… is also to soil the memory of our martyrs,” he said.
“Shame on those who did this,” Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti tweeted.
French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin described the vandalism as “spitting on the memory of our martyrs”.