9 Jun 2011

Nuclear testing memorial low priority in cash-strapped French Polynesia

1:17 pm on 9 June 2011

A member of the French Polynesia assembly is calling for a memorial marking the territory's nuclear weapons testing history says the proposal's a low priority in the current economic climate.

On July the 2nd it'll be 45 years since France conducted its first nuclear test in French Polynesia.

Tea Hirshon says President Oscar Temaru has proposed building a memorial within the grounds of the assembly, because that's where testing was approved.

But Ms Hirshon, who's a member of the President's pro-independence party, says the vacant Vaiami Hospital, Papeete's oldest colonial building, is more suitable.

"It's not considered a priority for you know many people considering all the problems we have but we are going to have a very beautiful exhibition for the 45th anniversary for one week in the hall of the assembly and then it's being parked and put in an office somewhere."

Tea Hirshon says the former Vaiami Hospital's in the middle of town and could be turned into a cultural centre.