Due to security concerns around a “yellow vest” protest planned for the weekend in Paris, a number of sites will not be opening their doors to the public for this year’s Heritage Days (Journées du Patrimoine), including the Ministry of Education and Agriculture, as well as the police headquarters on the Île de la Cité.
The annual Journées du Patrimoine gives people the opportunity to poke around some of the country's most interesting and historic sites that are normally closed off to the pubic, including the Elysée Palace.
But because of planned demonstrations against the pensions reform and climate change, as well as a new “yellow vest” protest, authorities are restricting access to some government buildings, like the Interior Ministry, which will only open from 10 am to 12pm on Saturday. Reservations to visit this site are already full.
Other government buildings are asking people to sign up for a visit – a first in the history of the Heritage Days. This is the case for the Élysée Palace, the Culture Ministry, and the National Assembly. Heightened security measures will also be put in place.
Police note that the anarchist “black blocks”, who have been behind much of the violence during anti-government protests in recent years have issued calls to meet in Paris on Saturday.
Police have not yet announced details of the security operation but one source told BFM TV it would be akin to that which saw thousands of riot police and mobile units on the streets during the early stages of yellow vest protests.
But fear not, despite the closure or restricted access to some buildings, there is still plenty to see. For the full programme of this year's Heritage Days, click here.