Churches crumble in France, and a country asks how it can save them

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Mayor Jean-Pierre Leger was married and baptized his children at Saint-Pierre-aux-Liens church in this village in western France. Not without sadness, he is now planning to bulldoze the 19th century building.

The dilemma of what to do with churches that have fallen out of favor — and into disrepair — is facing towns and villages across France and other European countries. Some communities have dynamited churches deemed too expensive to maintain. Others have taken a less radical approach, selling them as housing.

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