Photo of the day: Eiffel Tower hit by flashmob

Hundreds of people descended on the Champs-de-Mars by the Eiffel Tower on Wednesday night as part of a huge flash mob. Find out what it was all in aid of.

Photo of the day: Eiffel Tower hit by flashmob
Eiffel Tower flash mob. Photo: Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP

A 500-strong flashmob danced in front of the Eiffel Tower at 8pm Wednesday night in a choreographed tribute to the 50th anniversary of civil right's activist Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech.

Organised by Unesco as one of 17 international flashmobs around the world, in association with the American Embassy and SOS Racisme (a charity for fighting against racism in France), around 500 Parisians danced in front of the art installation the Wall of Peace (le Mur de la Paix) on the Champs-de-Mars in the 7th arrondissement. T

The dance, which lasted several minutes, was choreographed by Mourad Merzouki, director of the National Centre of Choreography in the paris suburb of Créteil.

“It’s more than just an opportunity to pay homage to this emblematic figure who fought for civil rights in the USA," an organiser of the event told Le Parisien newspaper. 

"It’s also an opportunity to remind ourselves of the necessity to take action against hateful ideas which stop us living together in peace in our country."

King delivered the famous “I have a dream” speech in Washington on August 28th 1963 in front of 250,000 supporters.

by Naomi Firsht

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Revealed: The fastest way to get across Paris

Car, moped, public transport, or electric bicycle - which means of transport is the quickest way to get across Paris?

Revealed: The fastest way to get across Paris

One intrepid reporter for French daily Le Parisien decided to find out. 

The challenge was simple. Which mode of transport would get the journalist from the heart of Fontenay-sous-Bois in the eastern suburbs to the newspaper’s office on Boulevard de Grenelle, west Paris, fastest?

Over four separate journeys, each one in the middle of rush hour, the electric bicycle was quickest and easiest. More expensive than conventional bikes, electric bikes do come with a government subsidy.

The journey was described as ‘pleasant and touristy’ on a dry but chilly morning going via dedicated cycle lanes that meant the dogged journalist avoided having to weave in and out of traffic.

It took, in total, 47 minutes from start to finish at an average speed of 19km/h, on a trip described as “comfortable” but with a caveat for bad weather. The cost was a few centimes for charging up the bike.

In comparison, a car journey between the same points took 1 hour 27 minutes – a journey not helped by a broken-down vehicle. Even accounting for that, according to the reporter’s traffic app, the journey should – going via part of the capital’s southern ringroad – have taken about 1 hr 12.

Average speed in the car was 15km/h, and it cost about €2.85 in diesel – plus parking.

A “chaotic and stressful” moped trip took 1 hour 3 minutes, and cost €1.30 in unleaded petrol.

Public transport – the RER and Metro combined via RER A to Charles-de-Gaulle-Étoile then Metro line 6 to the station Bir-Hakeim – took 50 minutes door to door, including a 10-minute walk and cost €2.80. The journey was described as “tiring”.

READ ALSO 6 ways to get around Paris without the Metro