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French elite stir tensions in Morocco

July 23, 2006 at 11:47 PM   |   Comments

MARRAKESH, Morocco, July 23 (UPI) -- France's elite, tiring of the south of France, have begun buying property in Morocco, and subsequently stirring local tensions.

The "African Riviera" has quickly become a holiday home to a community of well-off writers, businesspeople and artists, The Sunday Times of London reported.

However, locals in the areas of Marrakesh and other Moroccan cities are not happy about the rich and famous neighbors.

Bernard-Henri Levy, the writer and philosopher, erected a wall around his cliff top villa in Tangiers that partially block the view of the bay from the terrace of famous Hafa cafe next door, the Times said. The view was known to have inspired such writers as Jean Genet and Tennessee Williams.

Levy said he built the wall to provide some privacy for his wife, actress Arielle Dombasle, while she sunned herself by the pool.

The idea of women sunbathing topless inflames a growing Islamic movement aiming to turn Morocco, one of the more liberal Muslim countries, into a strict theocracy, the newspaper said.

© 2006 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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