A crowd of Parisians and tourists walked along the Champs Elysees on Sunday (19), the so-called car-free day, which cleared most of the traffic from the normally busy streets of the French capital.
Pedestrians strolling along the most famous street in Paris can see The Arc de Triomphe is wrapped.
Posthumous installation designed by the late artist Christo The Arc de Triomphe monument in Paris is wrapped with 2,500 square meters of recyclable silver and blue plastic packaging.
“It’s our chance to walk the ‘heroes’, looking at the Arc de Triomphe head-on and not just from the sidewalk,” said 68-year-old Parisian Annie Matusevsky.
Pedestrians walk near the Arc de Triomphe, wrapped as part of an art installation called “Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped”, designed by the late artist Christo, on the Champs Elysees, on a car-free day in Paris – Photo: Benoit Tessier/Reuters
Paris held its first Car-Free Day in 2015 in the Central District, and expanded the initiative in 2017 to include other neighborhoods in the city. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo sought to use the annual event to reduce vehicular traffic and reduce air pollution.
Other streets in the capital were full of pedestrians and cyclists, although buses, taxis and residents using cars for essential commuting could still use some streets.
Anne Hidalgo lowered the speed limit on most city streets from 50 km/h to 30 km/h and closed some busy roads along the Seine to vehicles.
The mayor’s actions have angered drivers, especially suburban residents, who are complaining about the lack of suitable alternative transportation.
“A car-free day is great if we incorporate the entire Paris area,” said Patrice, a retiree who lives in the suburbs.
“Other than that, it’s as if they are saying that the people who live in Paris are doing well within their surroundings and that everything outside is not worth caring about.”
In a photo dated September 16, the Arc de Triomphe in Paris received the final touches on the cover, in a posthumous work by artist Christo – Photo: Thomas Samson / AFP
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