Paris riverside booksellers fight removal ahead of Olympic Games

Riverside booksellers in Paris are resisting a government plan to remove their kiosks from the banks of the Seine ahead of the 2024 Olympic Games.

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Citing security concerns, the emblematic green boxes that line both sides of the river Seine must be taken down as a safety measure, the Paris city hall said in July.

Paris’s booksellers, however, do not share the public authorities’ concerns, and are petitioning against the removal plan. The petition already has over 120,000 signatures.

Considered part of France’s cultural heritage by UNESCO, the booksellers, known as bouquinistes, are determined in their fight to remain on the riverbanks.

Read moreParis ‘bouquinistes’ resist plans to remove riverside book kiosks for Olympics

“Booksellers are to Paris what gondoliers are to Venice. You can’t imagine Venice without its gondoliers or Paris without its booksellers,” the president of the Paris booksellers cultural association, Jérôme Callais, told FRANCE 24.

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