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Macron vows to showcase beauty of Paris through Olympics

Macron vows to showcase beauty of Paris through Olympics

Posted April. 17, 2024 07:26,   

Updated April. 17, 2024 07:26


French President Emmanuel Macron expressed his ambition during a radio interview with France's BFMTV·RMC on Monday to present a beautiful version of France, with plans to set up Paris Olympic stadiums around the iconic landmarks of Paris to showcase France as ‘the country of beauty.'

Construction for the stadiums near Paris tourist attractions is entering its final stage. Existing buildings are being repurposed or remodeled into stadiums. The opening ceremony will take place at Trocadéro Square in front of the Eiffel Tower, the symbol of Paris, and the Seine River that runs through the city. It will mark the first-ever 'outdoor opening ceremony' in the 128-year history of the modern Olympics. However, recent terror threats have led to considerations of limiting the venue to Trocadéro Square or changing it to the Stade de France, where the 1998 World Cup matches were held.

Major subway stations are also undergoing transformations. Existing ticket gates have been removed, and separate ticket machines have been installed. These measures are to prevent congestion in preparation for the expected increase in passengers before and after the Olympics. Recently, there has been a noticeable increase in police patrols in downtown Paris.

French authorities have raised the national security alert system to the highest level following increased domestic terrorism concerns since the outbreak of the Middle East war on October 7 last year, coupled with last month's terrorist attack in Moscow, Russia. Due to such concerns, the size of the opening ceremony audience has been reduced from the initial 600,000 to 320,000.

Eun-A Cho achim@donga.com