06/18/2014 06:55 EDT | Updated 08/18/2014 05:59 EDT

Part of D-Day exhibition stolen from French Embassy in Ottawa

OTTAWA - Two photo banners from an exhibition paying tribute to the Canadian soldiers who took part in the June 1944 Normandy landings have been stolen from in front of the French Embassy in Ottawa.

Embassy spokesman Stephane Schorderet says the banners were taken Tuesday afternoon by two young men and a young woman who drove up in a black pickup truck.

Schorderet says the theft was recorded by the embassy's security cameras and the images have been handed over to the RCMP and Ottawa police.

The two banners were part of a 14-banner display on the embassy's fence made from photographs of Canadian soldiers landing in Normandy on D-Day.

Schorderet says the exhibition was a symbolic initiative meant as an expression of France's friendship and gratitude to Canada.

He says the 12 remaining banners will stay on display on the embassy fence until July 14 despite the theft.

"We hesitate to take off the exhibition because of that ... we thought that it's not a good message," Schorderet said Wednesday.

Schorderet said police have told the embassy that they will investigate.

"The black pickup is an old model so it's very easy to recognize ... it's two young guys and one young girl and we can recognize them on the pictures," he said.

Schorderet said he arrived in Canada in September and had expressed concern when the exhibition went up that someone might steal the banners.

But he said he was assured by his colleagues at the embassy that "it's Canada ... these things don't happen here."

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