Europe

Funeral for naturist Christiane Lecocq held in Paris

File photo: Christiane Lecocq at her 100th birthday Image copyright French Naturist Federation
Image caption Christiane Lecocq helped set up the International Naturist Federation in 1953

The funeral of a founder member of the world's naturism or nudism movement has taken place in Paris.

Christiane Lecocq, who died aged 103 on Christmas Eve, helped set up the International Naturist Federation after World War Two.

She and her husband founded the world's first ever nudist holiday centre in France and the first naturist magazine.

Supporters say there are now more than 14 million naturists around the world, including millions in France.

The BBC's Hugh Schofield in Paris says that Christiane Lecocq was a last link to the beginnings of the naturist movement in the 1920s and 1930s.

She began practising nudism in 1933 when she joined a sports club in Lille, aged 22, only to discover that all of the members went nude.

After the war, Ms Lecocq and her husband Albert began promoting their belief in the health and social benefits of going nude.

In 1950 they helped create the French Naturist Federation (FFN), followed by the International Naturist Federation in 1953, which today represents 38 countries.

FFN President Armand Jamier said that "If France is now the world's naturist destination, with 3.5 million practitioners, including more than 1.5 million French, she cannot deny that it is thanks to her."

Ms Lecocq and her husband also began the first magazine dedicated to naturism called Life in the Sun.

Christiane Lecocq was still going nude well beyond her 100th birthday.

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