Ashes to Ashes

French cemeteryNew and somewhat bizarre legislation has been passed in France giving for the first time legal status to the ashes of a deceased person and making it unlawful to keep the ashes of the deceased privately or at home. This part of the legislation may be particularly distressing for some people who may find it hard to part with the ashes of a loved one soon after cremation.

Many people prefer to keep the ashes of a loved one at home until such time that they feel able emotionally to let go or are physically able to visit the place where they wish to scatter the ashes and to some extent the new law seems intent on controlling what should be a hugely personal decision made only by the loved ones of the deceased at a time that is right for them.

From now on relatives wishing to scatter ashes themselves at a later date will have to pay for the ashes to be housed until such time that they can or are ready to do so. Another practice relatively common in some cultures is to keep part of the ashes in a keepsake pendant, presumably this too will be unlawful.

The new law gives four options in which ashes can be housed or disposed of; in a garden of remembrance, a tomb, a columbarium or scattered in a place that the deceased person requested before their death, this request however must be made to the local mairie at the birth place of the deceased before the ashes are scattered.

Under the new legislation all communes with a population of more than 2,000 inhabitants will have to provide a cinerary where ashes from cremation can be disposed of.

Other parts of the legislation are supposed to be aimed at reducing the cost of a funeral in France and bring stricter controls to the qualifications and training of funeral directors.

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Ashes to Ashes
New and somewhat bizarre legislation has been passed in France giving for the first time legal status to the ashes of a deceased person and making it unlawful to keep the ashes of the...


0 #5 KIM SHERWIN 2009-07-25 16:07
Bureaucratic CRAP - I thought France was the land of the FREE !
How dare they expect this legislation to be upheld - Don't we or our loved ones have any rights anymore.
Disgraceful legislation and it should be cremated itself!
0 #4 Emily 2009-04-06 21:31
Did the government give any reason why? I mean what's the point?
0 #3 scrumbles 2009-01-04 15:17
Thinking about his a bit more, as you do a this happy time of year, can anyone direct me to this legislation please.

It has provoked much discussion between my husband and me and we have now decided to be cremated here, if we die!! and send the ashes back to the children/grandchildren to do with what they will.

Does it apply to animal ashes as well???? or just people as they are taxable, alive or dead.
0 #2 diana 2008-12-16 13:47
I was giggling at the same thought... I expect an health and safety risk assessment would be required, for hygiene and moving and handling purposes.

What a load of beaurocratic nonsense.. but more jobs for the boys/girls i guess.
+1 #1 Timtim 2008-12-16 12:12
Any idea how this will work for people born outside of France who want to have their ashes scattered somewhere in France? I am not sure how Nottingham council (Nottingham being where I was born) would handle it if I made a request to them asking for ashes scattering permission!!

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