The booksellers on the Seine are a cultural fixture in the Parisian landscape, Source: Depositphotos

Paris booksellers win in their quest to stay put on the Seine banks during Olympics

Paris booksellers win in their quest to stay put on the Seine banks during Olympics

President Macron has decided to abandon plans of moving them to a different spot

The bouquinistes of Paris have won their battle with the authorities on whether they should be moved from their riverside spots where they’d taken root since the mid-19th century. The verdict is out, and the President of France Emmanuel Macron has decreed that they can all stay where they are.

The whole affair is interesting because Paris was trying to do away with two different traditions in one shot. On the one hand, the opening ceremony on 26 July will take place along the Seine, rather than the established routine of having it in a sports stadium where the visiting athletes parade in front of the audience. In order to ensure more space and safety, however, the authorities wanted to move away the bouquinistes and their bulky wooden boxes and unroot them from their traditional established place under the Sun.

Following the President’s decision, however, it seems that now the booksellers will get

First-row seats to the Olympics opening ceremony

Well, not exactly because the bouquinistes do close at night. It seems that now there will be less space for spectators given that this had previously been reduced to 300,000 viewers at the end of January.

The authorities were mulling different ideas regarding the boxes and dismantling them and relocating them to a new spot. The booksellers and their wooden stalls are considered a World Heritage Site.

"For the last seven months, we have put all our energy into campaigning against the decision to relocate us, this outcome comes as a relief," Pascal Corseaux, Vice-President of the Paris Association of Bouquinistes told Euronews Culture shortly after the announcement.

The booksellers are hoping that the event will actually boost their fortunes and trade given that they have been suffering in recent times – what with the pandemic and galloping inflation.



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