Monday, July 31, 2006

How are ya' gonna keep 'em on in Paree...

...when they've seen the Cote d'Azur? Pruderie en Paris:

In a country where going topless on real beaches is almost de rigueur, incredulity has greeted news that city hall officials and police have been moving among sunbathers, warning them of the ban on "indecent" dress.

What is especially embarrassing for Bertrand Delanoƫ, Paris's openly homosexual mayor, is that Paris Plage, now in its fifth year, is intended to reproduce the ambience of a Mediterranean beach.

"Sand, sunbeds, parasols," sighed the tabloid daily Le Parisien. "On the beach along the Seine, Bertrand Delanoƫ has deployed the full panoply of the perfect seaside postcard. ...."

The riverside highway is closed to traffic and covered by 2,000 tons of fine sand. The beach stretches for more than two miles and is dotted with palm trees and cafes.

But the order forbidding the exposure of flesh declares: "Behaviour must conform to good morals, tranquillity, safety and public order."

The penalty for going nude, topless or in a thong is 38 euros (£26). No fines have yet been imposed but the beach does not close until Aug 20.

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