According to a recent Reuters report, Saudi Arabian King Salman left Vallauris, in the south of France for Morocco this past Sunday. This reportedly cut short what was to be a three week holiday. Residents, including a group of naturists or nudists, became upset over the closure of a popular nudist beach over security and privacy concerns.
The locals protested and drew up a petition over the incident. The petition included more than 150,000 signatures over the public beach closure outside Salman’s villa.
A spokesperson for Salman told the press he had arrived in Morocco and that this was actually part of his holiday plans. The Saudi source claimed that the King’s early departure was totally unrelated to all the media coverage that his vacation stop had drawn.
An official from the local French government, Philippe Castanet, reported that approximately half of the Saudi king’s 1,000-person entourage had also left early. He did not provide any specifics as to why the monarch and half his entourage departed early or if they would return to France.
It was noted, however, that the new king and his inner circle had originally planned to stay for three weeks at the Salman family’s seaside Vallauris villa. It was supposed to be a temporary boon to the local economy.
The closure of the public nudist beach—reportedly “for privacy and security reasons”—caused a real row. The Saudi king’s construction of a private elevator from the nudist beach to the private villa, temporarily green-lighted by approved for temporary use by Vallauris officials, added to the anger among a number of the local residents who took issues with the monarch being permitted this particular privilege. Castanet stated the personal elevator would be torn down in the near future.
The Saudi representative concluded that King Salman’s stay in France had been planned with the cooperation of the local French authorities and strictly adhered to their arrangements and policies for “high-security” guests. He added that King Salman had nothing but respect for the people of France and he hoped that next year he would have time to see the nearby city of Cannes, where the world-famous annual film festival is held.
Saudi King Leaves France After Nudist Beach Upset