French Embassy "reviewing the accuracy" of Richmond warning - FOX Carolina 21

French Embassy "reviewing the accuracy" of Richmond warning

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

The French Embassy in Washington is now reviewing a travel warning issued for Richmond, after France listed the capital as among the 16 most dangerous destinations in the United States.

The travel advisory tells French citizens not to visit Downtown Richmond by foot, a one line sentence within the extensive warnings for U.S. cities.

View the French advisory here:

http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/conseils-aux-voyageurs/conseils-par-pays/etats-unis-12311/

In an email statement, Deputy Press Counselor Dana Purcarescu said the French Embassy in the United States is now evaluating the alert for Richmond.

"Be assured we are in the process of reviewing the accuracy of that information," Purcarescu said. "France, like all countries, including the United States, has the responsibility to issue travel information and recommendations to its citizens traveling abroad."

According to the latest crime statistics published by CQ Press, Richmond is no longer one of the top 16 most dangerous cities in America. Virginia's capital currently ranks 70th for the year 2013.

The travel warning also posts an advisory for the entire state of Florida, warning French tourists not to venture outside of lit areas.

Washington, Boston, Chicago and New Orleans are also among the U.S. destinations with warnings.

Richmond City Hall also responded to the controversy Friday.

"We encourage travelers from around the world to come and experience first-hand all that Richmond, the ‘Best Outdoor Town,' has to offer," said Tammy Hawley, press secretary for Mayor Dwight C. Jones. "[That includes] the history, the shops, the restaurants, and the new Arts and Cultural District."

The French Embassy regretted that the advisory has been discomforting to the City, and expressed support for tourism in the area.

"France has a very active presence in the Mid-Atlantic area, with thousands of French citizens proud to call it home," Purcarescu said. "There are also many successful cultural and economic partnerships with France, and we proudly support tourism development in the region."

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