Paris attack

The impact of the awful events in Paris on Wednesday this week has been thrown into even sharper relief for a number of colleagues here as it has emerged that one of the victims of the shooting was visiting the offices of Charlie Hebdo from Clermont-Ferrand, Aberdeen’s French twin city.

Michel Renaud had worked for several years in the Mayor’s office in Clermont-Ferrand and organised the biennial Carnet de Voyage festival there.  He is survived by a daughter and wife, Gala Renaud.  Gala works at the Mission des Relations Internationales in Clermont-Ferrand and will be known to many in Aberdeen who have participated in exchange projects with our twin city.

A march is taking place in Clermont-Ferrand on Sunday to pay tribute to the victims of the attack and to demonstrate the importance of freedom of expression. 

A statement on the Ville de Clermont-Ferrand website reads: ‘The city of Clermont-Ferrand is injured for two reasons: first, because in this country of human rights, this cowardly attack has infringed the freedom of the press, the freedom to speak freely; but also by the loss of a good man, Michel Renaud, an active Clermont citizen, always committed to the defence of human values.  His death affects us all deeply.’

The Lord Provost is writing to our friends and colleagues in Clermont to express our condolences and to reaffirm our support at such a difficult time.