The Famous House in the Middle of the Loire River

Known as La maison dans la Loire (the House in the Loire), the three-storey building looks like the victim of a flood that once swept it away, but appearances can be deceiving…

Walking along the river Loire, near the town of Lavau-sur-Loire, just a stone throw away from Nantes, you’re bound to spot a rather unusual sight – a tilted building located right in the middle of the river. You’d think it was brutally swept away by some catastrophic flood, but it was actually placed there deliberately by a company that specializes in salvaging wrecks, at the request of a French artist. Today, the House in the Loire is one of the highlights of river cruises on the Loire.

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This Optical Illusion Is the Most Beautiful Street Artwork in France

An impressive trompe-l-oeil fresco painted in the coastal city of Boulogne-Sur-Mer was recently crowned France’s most beautiful street artwork for 2020.

Every year, a popular French portal dedicated to urban art hosts a national competition to crown the nation’s most impressive street art. Thousands of votes are cast, and for last year, the title went to an amazing artwork created by Spanish street artist Gonzalo Borondo, on the city’s rue Jules Baudelocque, last summer. From the right angle, it looks like an elaborate metal gate, with detailed bas-reliefs on either side, but a closer look reveals it to be just an optical illusion.

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Social Media Star Promotes Fake Books as Props for Wanna-Be Online Influencers

If you want to make it as a glamour influencer on social media, you have to look the part, and one way to achieve that is by using fake books as decorations.

French Instagram superstar Maddy Burciaga has come under fire for allegedly promoting fake expensive books are the perfect props to decorate one’s home. In an Instagram story, the 27-year-old shows off fake copies of Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent books, adding that the real books are quite expensive in bookshops and boutiques. But if you’re not actually interested in reading the books, but just want to show off to your followers, you can just get these blocks of cardboard that look like books, for just a fraction of the price. Her promotional campaign didn’t go as planned.

Burciaga, who rose to fame after appearing on a number of French television shows, like “The Angels”, or “The Villa of Broken Hearts”, commands a following of over 2.4 million people on Instagram alone, so her Insta story quickly went viral, and garnered generally negative reactions.

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Woman Spends 3 Years Proving She Is Alive, After Being Declared Dead by Court

A 58-year-old French woman has been fight to get her life back, after being wrongfully declared dead by a court, during a long-running dispute with a former employee.

Jeanne Pouchain has been trying to prove she is alive and well for three years, ever since a labor court declared her dead, allegedly acting on information provided by one of her former employees, who she was in a legal dispute with. The verdict not only ended a decade-long lawsuit between Pouchain and her ex-employee, it also ruined her life as a citizen. Her name was wiped from official records, she lost her ID card, her driver’s license, medical insurance, bank account, everything. It was like she didn’t exist anymore.

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Heavily Tattooed School Teacher Risks Losing His Job Because of His Appearance

Sylvain, a heavily tattooed school teacher from Essonne, in France, risks losing his job, because some parents don’t approve of his full-body tattoo, which includes his face.

The 35-year-old teacher, who goes by Freaky Hoody on social media, recently went on French television channel BFM TV to complain about the threat of losing his job strictly based on his appearance. He claims that his superiors have asked him to no longer teach kindergarten children, after receiving complaints from parents regarding his unconventional looks. Apparently, these people don’t even have children in the classes he teaches, but they have an issue with his tattoos, which cover the vast majority of his body, including his face, and even his eyeballs.

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This French Forest Is Home to Over 100 Wallabies

If you find yourself walking thorough the forest of Rambouillet, just west of Paris, and happen to see an animal resembling a kangaroo, know that your eyes aren’t playing trick on you, the French forest has been home to up to 150 wallabies for over 40 years.

The colony of red-necked Bennett’s wallabies living in Rambouillet Forest can be traced back to a small group of animals that were brought into a zoological reserve in the nearby village of Emance, during the 1970s. A few of them escaped through holes in the fencing, and were never retrieved. They’ve been living in the wild for decades and researchers believe that the woods may now be home to around 150 wallabies. The forest provided them with shelter and sustenance, they had no natural predators to fear, and the climate was apparently very similar to that of their native Tasmania. The biggest threat to the wallabies of Rambouillet are passing cars.

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French Man Awarded $45,000 After Suing Employer Over “Boring Job” That Made Him Depressed

Frederic Desnard, who worked as a manager at a Parisian perfumery until 2015, sued his former employer because his job was so boring that it made him depressed and forced him to quit. He recently won the trial and a $45,000 compensation.

We originally featured this bizarre court case back in 2016, when Frederic Desnard made international news headlines for suing French perfumery Interparfum for $400,000 for making him work a boring job that at one point made him suffer an epileptic fit and left him feeling depressed. He also claimed that the company signed him off work for several months, and later used his prolonged absence as an excuse to fire him in 2014. Last week, after four years of litigation, 48-year-old Desnard won his case, and a compensation of $45,000.

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Woman Takes Revenge on Ex-Husband by Remarrying Him Without His Consent

A French woman is facing up to 10 years in prison and a hefty fine of up to 150,000 euros ($170,000) for remarrying her ex-husband without his knowledge, in order to prevent him from moving on with his life.

The unnamed woman, who worked as a high-ranking judge in Hauts-de-Seine, France’s Ile-de-France region, reportedly decided to take revenge on her ex-husband, after he had left her for another woman. To add insult to injury, the woman had been dumped for the sister of a French minister that she herself had worked as a judicial adviser for. Her bizarre plan involved remarrying her husband without his knowledge or consent, so as to prevent him from moving on with his life alongside his new partner.

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French City Installs 187 Solar Panels to Save on Energy Costs, Forgets to Connect Them

Officials in the French city of Roubaix recently revealed that the 187 photovoltaic panels that were supposed to generate green electricity for the local library had been installed six months ago, but not connected to the building’s electrical grid…

In June of 2019, thew city of Roubaix announced with great fanfare that it had acquired 187 solar panels meant to generate part of the electricity required by the local library. The panels were installed by local company Sunretec at a cost of 103,000 euros ($113,000), but somehow everyone forgot to actually connect them to the library’s electrical grid, which means that for six months the panels didn’t produce any of the electricity consumed by the Roubaix library.

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Ex-Con Wants to Go Back to Prison So He Can Watch Premium TV Channel for Free

We’re no strangers to weird stories here on OC, but this one’s a bit too weird even for us. A French burglar intentionally left traces of DNA all over the crime scene just so he would end up in prison and watch encrypted TV channel Canal+ for free.

A monthly subscription to French premium television channel Canal+ costs around 10 euros ($11), but inmates in French prisons can apparently watch it for free, which was apparently a good enough reason for an ex-con to commit a crime and get himself caught. Over the course of the summer, the unnamed 25-year-old man committed a series of burglaries in the Toulouse suburb of Colomiers, but there was something about his modus operandi that left investigators scratching their heads. He left traces of saliva over the crime scenes, as if he wanted his DNA to be identified.

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French Zoo Visitors Use Fingernails to Scratch Names into the Back of Live Rhino

A zoo in southeastern France recently condemned the “stupidity” of some of its visitors after shocking photos of a 35-year-old female rhino with the names “Camille” and “Julien” scratched on its back went viral on social media.

La Palmyre Zoo, in the French city of Royan, allows visitors to touch some of the animals in its care when they approach the fence of their enclosure. It is designed to be a “moving” experience that allows visitors to appreciate the “beauty and diversity of nature”, but for some it’s simply an opportunity to display their ignorance and cruelty. Case in point, the people who shockingly used their fingernails to scratch their names onto the back of a female rhino when it approached the fence of its pen. Photos of the “signed” animal went viral online last week, sparking outrage all over the world.

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Scammers Use Silicone Mask to Impersonate French Minister, Swindle $90 Million

In what has been described as one of the most daring rackets in history, one or more individuals used a silicone mask to impersonate France’s minister of defense, Jean-Yves Le Drian, and scam an estimated €80 million ($90 million) from wealthy victims.

Jean-Yves Le Drian served as France’s defense minister from 2012 to 2017, and is currently the country’s Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs. He is an important political figure in his homeland, but also a relatively obscure one, which is why investigators believe he was chosen as the target of one of the boldest identity thefts in recorded history. One or more scammers used a custom silicone mask and a cleverly decorated office to fool various members of government and wealthy businessman into thinking that they were being contacted by Mr. Le Drian who requested financial help to pay the ransoms of journalists captured by Islamists in the Middle East. Some of the victims saw through the ruse, but many complied and donated millions.

The scam was simple yet pretty well thought out. Scammers would pose as a member of Le Drian’s inner circle and contact both french and foreign businessmen to arrange a conversation with the esteemed “minister”. In the beginning, the conversations were carried out over a phone, with the scammer impersonating the French minister reproducing Le Drian’s voice almost to perfection.  But, then, in order to make the  whole thing even more believable, they switched to video calls via Skype.

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Rooster’s Loud Crowing Triggers Legal Battle Between Neighbors

Maurice, a proud rooster from the French commune of Saint-Pierre d’Oléron, has become an overnight celebrity after triggering a controversial legal battle with his loud morning crowing.

The story of the rooster who sang to loudly has become the topic of a fired-up debate in France. A local family has been sued because Maurice, one of their roosters, crows too loudly in the morning and disturbs some of the neighbors. The bird’s owners claim that they live in a rural environment, where crowing is a part of daily life, but because of an influx of tourists and seasonal residents looking for peace and quiet, the animal’s natural instincts have become a nuisance. They’ve tried keeping Maurice in the chicken coop until 8:30 in the morning, but that’s the best they can do, they said, because Maurice is a rooster, he has to crow. Still, their neighbors didn’t find that solution satisfactory so they filed a complaint at a regional court.

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Tenants Stop Paying Rent to Protest Insanitary Conditions, Owner Removes Doors and Windows in Retaliation

It’s been over a month since Nicole and Pascal Vermeulen, a middle-aged couple from Lignières, France, have had to sleep in fear of someone simply walking into their home at night. That’s because they don’t have a front door anymore, or windows for that matter, after the house owner removed them as punishment for not receiving the rent.

Three years ago, when the Vermeulen family found a 110 square-meter house for rent in the village of Lignières, for €500 a month, they thought they were getting a good deal, but things started going south soon after they moved in. The building’s septic tank got clogged years ago, which rendered the toilet and shower virtually unusable. The tenants have had to deal with human waste coming up through the toilet and the shower drain on more than one occasion, and the bathroom walls are constantly covered with mold. Also their garage always smells like a sewer. Despite their repeated pleas to the owner of the apartment to get the septic tank fixed, and the home being declared insanitary by the CAF (Direction of Family Allocations), the owner simply disregarded the problems.

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French Village Is Offering $2,250 to Whoever Can Decipher Its Centuries-Old Stone Message

Plougastel, a small village in France’s Brittany region, is offering a prize of €2,000 ($2,250) to whoever can decipher a 230-year-old inscription carved into a nearby rock-slab.

Discovered just a few years ago, the mysterious rock is located in a cove accessible only at low tide. It features 20 lines of writing in a “language” that so far no one has been able to crack, two years  – 1786 and 1787 – as well as carved images of a ship with sails and rudder, and a sacred heart. Local academics have been struggling to decipher the centuries-old images for some time now, but so far all they’ve come up with is theories. Some believe that the writing may be in old Breton or Basque, while others think that whoever carved it into the rock slab may have been semi-illiterate.

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