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Paris’ Arc de Triomphe to be ‘fully restored’ for VE Day

The Arc de Triomphe in Paris, which was ransacked during a "yellow vest" protest last year, will be entirely restored for next week's VE Day celebrations, the French government said Friday.

Paris' Arc de Triomphe to be 'fully restored' for VE Day
Soldiers pay their respects in front of the Arc de Triomphe during VE Day in 2016. Photo: AFP
The monument, which contains the French tomb of the unknown soldier, was vandalised during an anti-government demonstration in December that ended in 
rioting and looting.
   
Culture Minister Franck Riester said 1.2 million euros ($1.3 million) was spent restoring damaged statues and equipment inside the landmark at the top of the Champs-Elysees.
   
As well as spraying its walls with graffiti and breaking equipment, rioters smashed artworks, including a 1930s copy of a famous sculpture of “The Marseillaise” by Francois Rude representing Victory, which was moulded from the 19th-century original.
 
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Photo: AFP
 
“The restoration has been done in only a few months, which is very fast,” said Riester, while praising the work.
 
He said everything would be ready Wednesday when VE Day celebrations mark the 74th anniversary of Nazi Germany's surrender to the Allies on May 8, 1945.
   
The monument, which was built by Napoleon to commemorate his many military victories, reopened less than a fortnight after rioters broke into it on December 1, though some areas remained cordoned off. 
   
Each year, more than 1.5 tourists visit the Arc de Triomphe, mostly to take in the view down the Champs-Elysees.
   
Bulgarian-born artist Christo last month announced that he had received permission to wrap the world-famous landmark next April in the signature style he developed with his late French wife Jeanne-Claude.

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TRAVEL NEWS

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

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