Is there a restriction on taking photos of headstones (Metzevahs) in French Cemeteries? #france
Jan Meisels Allen
In response to a posting I did on JewishGen and IAJGS I was advised that
there is a restriction in France in taking photos of cemetery headstones
in French cemeteries. Can someone in France or someone who is aware of
the practice or prohibition please let me know. What I am trying to find
out is whether prior approval of next of kin or the cemetery is something
in France or an outright ban on taking photos with or without permission
Below is the posting I did:
Genealogists are cemetery-goers. We all do it to record information
for our family histories and we take photographs of the headstones.
Recently, I learned about the problem which may be unique to Western
Australia,but I am not certain so I am asking if anyone, anywhere in
the world, other than Western Australia, is aware of a policy that
before photographing or videoing a cemetery headstone prior approval
by next of kin is required. If you know of such a practice please
let me know.
Recently, a posting on an Australian group for Australian Jewish
Genealogy told that the Western Australia Metropolitan Cemeteries
Board put up signs prohibiting photography of graves without consent
of next of kin. This applies to cemeteries in the Perth metro area.
This covers both Jewish cemetery areas in general cemeteries and
non-Jewish municipal cemeteries in Western Australia. While the
stones themselves are in the public domain,prohibiting photography
is a problem for genealogists. The Western Australia Metropolitan
Cemeteries Board charges for taking photographs, but I don't
know if that is what is behind their prohibition of obtaining next
of kin permission. What happens if there is no living next of kin?
According to the Western Australia Metropolitan Cemeteries website
(http://www.mcb.wa.gov.au/) ) they are responsible for 6 cemeteries,
several of which have Jewish sections.
This is the rule >from their bylaws as amended in 1996:
Recording on film or videotape
(1) A person shall not, without the prior approval of the Board,record
on film or videotape any image or sound within a Cemetery.
(2) A person shall not record on film or videotape a funeral, headstone
or memorial within a Cemetery without the prior approval of the next
of kin of the deceased person whose funeral, headstone or memorial is
Jan Meisels Allen
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee