'Part of citizens' history' - Bordeaux seeks vote on city hall door burned in protests

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'Part of citizens' history' - Bordeaux seeks vote on city hall door burned in protests
The burnt door of Bordeaux's city hall. Photo by ROMAIN PERROCHEAU / AFP

The mayor of Bordeaux has announced that the French city's residents will get to vote on what to do with the city hall door that was spectacularly destroyed by fire during anti-government protests.


Last month, radical opponents to President Emmanuel Macron's pension reform set fire to the ancient wooden entrance to city hall during a day of heavy protest.

British monarch King Charles III had been set to visit the Bordeaux city hall, but his trip to France was postponed because of security concerns during the protests.


Bordeaux's mayor, Pierre Hurmic, told the municipal council Tuesday that the southwestern city's residents would be given three choices.

These would be to restore the door to its previous state, repair it but keep the burnt parts, or replace it with "a resolutely contemporary door" with artists invited to make competing bids for its design.


"The citizens will decide on the door to their common home," said Hurmic, a Green party member.

He added, however, that his initiative for an online vote had to wait for a report by a heritage architect to be completed, and also required approval by building authorities.

"If we cannot repair the burnt door, we will keep it in one of our museums because it is now part of the Bordeaux citizens' history," he said.

Images of the blaze, which lasted 15 minutes before firefighters put it out, went viral on social media on the protest day.

Four men were charged for their alleged role in the arson, which came after Macron's government passed the pension reform through the lower house of parliament without a vote thanks to a special constitutional provision.


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