Olympics threaten to erase a symbol of Paris, say riverside booksellers

Olympics threaten to erase a symbol of Paris, say riverside booksellers

Booksellers along the river Seine in Paris are concerned that the Olympics will erase a symbol of the city. Local authorities have informed them that their stalls will need to be removed for the Summer Games opening ceremony in 2024 due to security reasons. Approximately 60% of the riverside booksellers, or around 570 stalls, will have to be dismantled and relocated.

Jerome Callais, the president of the Paris booksellers association, expressed his disappointment, stating that people visit the booksellers as they would visit iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame. He believes that hiding the stalls during a ceremony that is meant to represent Paris is contradictory.

The Paris police have explained that the booksellers’ stalls fall within the protected perimeter for the opening ceremony and must be removed for obvious security reasons. The authorities anticipate that at least 600,000 people will attend the opening ceremony on the Seine, where athletes and delegations will sail along the river. This will be the first time the public has free access to the opening ceremony, which will not take place in a stadium.

To ensure the security of the event, the French government plans to deploy 35,000 security agents and military personnel. However, Albert Abid, a bookseller with a 100-year-old wooden stall, feels excluded from the celebrations. He is concerned that the removal process may damage his stall, which holds around 100-150 books.

The Paris authorities have offered to cover the costs of removing the stalls and any necessary repair work, referring to it as a “renovation.” They claim that this renovation will contribute to the Games’ heritage and support the application to have the Seine booksellers recognized as intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO.

It remains unclear whether the booksellers will need to move for the entire duration of the Games or solely for the opening ceremony. The city has invited them to relocate to a specially created “bookseller village” in a literary neighborhood near the Seine for the duration of the Games. However, Callais believes that the proposed location at Bastille square is not a viable solution and claims that no other compensation has been offered.

In conclusion, the booksellers along the river Seine in Paris are concerned about the impact of the Olympics on their stalls. They feel that their presence is an integral part of the city’s identity and worry about potential damage during the removal process. The authorities have offered to cover the costs and support the booksellers’ recognition as intangible cultural heritage, but the proposed relocation site is deemed unsuitable by the bookseller association president.

About News Team

Hi, I'm Alex Perez, an experienced writer with a focus on lifestyle and culture news. From food and fashion to travel and entertainment, I love exploring the latest trends and sharing my insights with readers. I also have a strong interest in world news and business, and enjoy covering breaking stories and events.

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