As WWI centenary looms, Eurostar warns about souvenir ‘bombs’


Ahead of the WWI Armistice centenary, Eurostar has repeated warnings about shells that have been turned into souvenirs onto the trains following a series of security scares.

“As you’re traveling during the commemoration period, please remember that you can’t bring any real or replica bombs, shells [complete or partial] or weapons on board – even if you bought them from a gift shop,” Eurostar told passengers.

“If you bring them with you, they’ll be confiscated at security and may result in the need to evacuate the station,” read a text message from the cross-Channel train company.

Old First World War shells turned into flower pots have been popular souvenirs in Belgium and France ever since the end of the conflict but passengers attempting to take them on board trains for Britain have sparked bomb scares in recent years.

Some of the alerts, which happen every few months, have also been caused by war memorabilia collectors bringing back disarmed ordnance unearthed by farmers at battle sites in northeast France.

Eurostar said even disarmed shells can set off X-ray alarms.

French President Emmanuel Macron Sunday kicked off a week of commemorations for the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, which is set to mix remembrance of the past and warnings about the present surge in nationalism around the globe.

Some 70 to 80 world leaders including U.S. President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin are preparing to fly to the French capital next weekend for a ceremony marking a century since the guns fell silent.