London, July 14 (ANI): French naval chiefs have been left gasping after the announcement that the country's favourite warship named after its national heroine, Joan of Arc, will be dismantled in England.
A senior officer said that the idea of Jeanne-d'Arc, believed as the soul of the French navy, being "burned, martyred and dismembered" on English soil was difficult to digest considering England's involvement in the death of their war heroine in 1431.
"Joan of Arc is the heart of the French nation," the Telegraph quoted Pierre-Frangois Forissier, the French navy's chief-of-staff, as saying.
But Vice-Admiral Hubert Jouot, in charge of decommissioning French vessels, said that fellow navy officials should get over their sentiments regarding the Jeanne-d'Arc's fate.
Jouot said: "The English are Europeans after all, we have the same values. But, every now and then, a certain national pride manifests itself, like in sporting competitions."
He added: "We must stop being emotional; we will follow the public markets procedures. The best placed in the competition will win."
Joan of Arc, a peasant girl born in eastern France, led the French army to several important victories during the Hundred Years' War, claiming divine guidance, and was indirectly responsible for the coronation of Charles VII.
She was captured by the Burgundians, sold to the English, tried by an ecclesiastical court, and burned at the stake when she was nineteen years old.
She was later found innocent, and declared a martyr before being canonized. (ANI)