The French scientist refused the Order of the Legion of Honor because of the Saudi Prince
A former chief curator of the Museums of France, anthropologist Alain Nicolas returned the Legion of Honor in protest against the awarding of the prizes because of the Saudi Crown Prince. It occurred on March 14th, French press reported.
The scientist spoke to French President Francois Hollande in an open letter, where he announced his decision.
“I learned that you awarded the Legion of Honour of the Crown Prince, Minister for the Interior of Saudi Arabia. Being awarded in 2002 by President Jacques Chirac of the same Order of the Legion of Honor, I think your gesture, a gesture of the President of the French Republic, is a personal and collective insult”,- wrote a scientist in the letter.
Alain Nicolas said he did not want to be in the same list with honorable people who do not share human and democratic values of France. The award was attached to the letter.
On March 4th, Francois Hollande presented the Legion of Honor to the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef . Earlier, on March 7th, La Liberation wrote that the award took place at the request of the representative of the Saudi royal family. After that, the French president was sharply criticized – the head of state reminded about the constant human rights violations in Saudi Arabia, as well as that more than 70 people have been executed since the beginning of the year in the kingdom.
Emperor Napoleon I Bonaparte
Legion of Honor was established by Napoleon Bonaparte on May 19th, 1802 following the example of chivalry. Belonging to the Order is the highest distinction, an honor and an official recognition of special services to the French Republic. Membership in the Order is carried out for outstanding military or civil services, and a person who has it, will automatically become an ex officio Grand Master of the Order.