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Last Updated: Friday, 9 July, 2004, 11:30 GMT 12:30 UK
Toddlers' plastic swords seized
The Ryan Twins. Used with permission of Peter Ryan
Twins Olivia and Eva Ryan had their swords confiscated
Two-year-old twins from the UK had their plastic toy swords seized at a French airport, say their parents.

Olivia and Eva Ryan, from Luton, Beds, were waiting with their parents to check in at Charles de Gaulle Airport after a trip to EuroDisney.

The children's father, Peter Ryan, said French officials classed the swords as replica weapons.

He said the family tried to stress they went with Peter Pan outfits and would be difficult to replace.

Mr Ryan told the BBC: "When the swords were taken away the children burst into tears.

Disneyland Paris
The twins and their parents were returning from Disneyland

"She (my partner) was absolutely furious.

"But I tended to let it go because I do work at airports and thought 'we'll get two swords when we get home'.

"We get through customs, and you've got a gift shop selling large die-cast metal 11in Eiffel Tower spikes."

Mr Ryan said he understood the need for security, but felt these officials went too far.

"I think it was a little bit of an over-reaction to these toy swords, and an under-reaction to the Eiffel Towers and the bottles of alcohol available after the check-in, " he said.

A spokesman for Charles De Gaulle Airport refused to comment on the incident.

The BBC's Kim Riley
"To the girls' distress, the two plastic swords were seized"

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