BY KRISTINA CHEW
In a bid to make France more energy efficient, lights outside public buildings, shops and offices in Paris are to be turned off between 1 a.m. and 7 a.m. starting next July. But merchants are aghast at the new regulation to turn off the lights on Paris’ famed Champs des Élysées and are claiming that the French government is being “insensitive” to the city’s reputation as the no. 1 tourist destination in the world.
81.4 million people visited France last year, with thousands visiting Paris for the moon- and electricity-lit promenades in its famous streets and over the Pont des Arts. Claude Boulle, head of Paris’ City Centre Merchants Association, goes so far as to say that turning off the lights at night will reduce the city’s allure as a shopping destination, saying that “We’re becoming a museum, falling asleep after sunset.”
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