Paris iconic riverside booksellers can stay put during Olympics, Macron rules

French President Emmanuel Macron has intervened in a row over the removal of booksellers from the banks of the river Seine for the Paris Olympics, ruling that they should stay at their historic locations, his office said February 13.

Hundreds of booksellers, who operate from little dark green boxes by the river, were set to be temporarily removed ahead of the Olympics opening ceremony on the Seine on July 26.

The head of the Cultural Association of Booksellers of Paris had likened the removal efforts to a “tooth extraction” and the organisation announced last month that it would launch legal efforts to stop the process.

Macron “has asked the interior minister and the Paris prefect’s office that all of the booksellers are preserved and that none of them are forced to move,” a statement from the president’s office said.

The decision came after “no consensual and reassuring solution” could be found with the traders, who have been a feature of Parisian life for some 150 years.

Already struggling to bounce back from shutdowns during the Covid pandemic and a longer-run loss of interest from locals, the booksellers are desperate to profit from the arrival of an estimated 16 million tourists for the Games.

The Paris Olympics are set to begin with national teams sailing down a six-kilometre stretch of the Seine on more than 100 boats—the first time the traditional opening ceremony has been held outside of the main stadium.

"It's going to be incredible," she said.


Read more on FRANCE 24 English

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