[A memorial built in Oct 1909 in honor of the French war-dead during the Sino-French War - inscription in Kanji on the base reads: 西元一千八百八十四年及五年佛清之役，葬佛軍將卒戰死者於此。本年重修建立紀念碑以傳後世。西曆一千九百九年十月立]
[ici reposent officiers soldats et marins Francais decedes a kelung 1884-1885 - "Here lie French officers, soldiers, and marines who perished in Keelung, 1884-1885"]
We are disturbed to see a recent news report [UDN 2012.11.29 11:20 pm]:
基隆市定古蹟「清法戰爭紀念園區」裡頭的6座墓碑20日遭破壞推倒。警方清查路口監視器及公車行車記錄器畫面，發現有毒品前科的38 歲江姓男子涉嫌重大。Six headstones in the Sino-French War Memorial Garden in Keelung [located at the intersection of Chung Cheng Road and Tung Hai Street基隆市中正區中正路與東海街交叉路口] were pushed over on the 20th. The police, after examining surveillance videos, have found that a 38-year-old Mr Jiang, with prior drug abuse records, the prime suspect.
The police arrested Mr Jiang in the afternoon of the 29th. He admitted vandalizing the headstones claiming that the long ignored lonely spirits made him do it and that he was simply trying to return everything to Nature. Mr Jiang was charged with violation of the heritage preservation law and transferred to Keelung DA office for further prosecution.
Another UDN report on 11/23/2012 stated that
Representatives of the French Association at Taiwan have visited the vandalized site to survey the damages. The Cultural Bureau plans to restore the headstones to their original state without erecting new ones. A contractor has been contacted. The cost is estimated to be under NT$100,000. And it is expected that the restoration will be completed post-haste.
只有懦夫才會找已往生的人麻煩. Repose en paix, messieurs.
Additional note: the same had happened in 1885 albeit under different circumstances, see a previous post: http://danshuihistory.blogspot.com/2011/05/fraters-report-on-july-1-1885.html
Briefly, British Consul Alexander Frater reported that "Shortly after the evacuation of Kelung by the French, their cemetery was attacked during the night, and the monuments and wooden crosses were thrown down. Happening to see Liu Ming-ch'uan on the 14th instant, I spoke to him about the outrage and said the French would be sure to be very angry if they heard of it. I advised that he should cause repairs to be made. He replied that he had been told of the occurrence, and had given orders for the cutting in stone of a protective proclamation, a copy of which he showed to me. He added that he had already ordered the tombstones to be put up again, and asked whether I had not heard that his orders had been carried out, to which I could only reply that I had not. The repairs were begun only on the 18th, soldiers being employed for the purpose; but the tombstones were thrown down again during the night. I was in Kelung on the 26th and 27th and visited the Cemetery. The proclamation cut in stone was not there, nor was it on the spot on paper. Two or three of the monuments had been fairly handsome ones and it was sad to see the top portions of them lying broken off. Many of the wooden crosses had been removed, and thin bamboo ones put in their place."