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2024 Olympics: did the “decoration” of the facade of the City Hall cost Paris 1 million euros?

The figure was published on X, Wednesday February 7, by the group Changer Paris, which brings together right-wing opponents of the mayor of the capital, Anne Hidalgo.

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2024 Olympics: did the “decoration” of the facade of the City Hall cost Paris 1 million euros?

The figure was published on X, Wednesday February 7, by the group Changer Paris, which brings together right-wing opponents of the mayor of the capital, Anne Hidalgo. The “decoration” of the facade of the Town Hall for the Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games, which will take place from July 26 to August 11 and from August 28 to September 8, cost exactly 983,352 euros.

Since November 28, the facade which overlooks the square has actually been covered in places with colorful panels (blue, pink, yellow, sea green, etc.). Some are stamped with the 2024 Olympics logo or the city logo.

For the opposition, it is an “exorbitant” expense compared to the City's performance and debt – 8 billion euros. “We are distorting the identity of our city. Should the Town Hall be plastered in anticipation of the organization of the Olympic Games? This facade is an element of Parisian identity, storms David Alphand, vice-president of Changer Paris and member of the Finance committee, who criticizes an “autocratic” operation. “We had to do the complete opposite. The Town Hall is disfigured.”

This amount actually appears in a document not made public detailing the contracts awarded by the town hall that Le Figaro was able to consult. This is a contract, following a framework agreement, awarded for 11 months to the French advertising display giant JCDecaux. The contract was concluded between October 27 and December 21, 2023.

This sum, however, does not only correspond to the decoration of the Town Hall. It also covers the “design of signage” in public spaces which will guide visitors during the sporting event. Concretely, specifies the Paris town hall in Le Figaro, these will be signs “designed to direct spectators of the Olympic and Paralympic Games from the exits of the metro or train stations to the competition sites in Paris: route, installation, creation of signage supports”.

The Town Hall adds that “the city design program like the signage program is an obligation of the Host city as provided for in the framework agreement relating to the organization and success of the Olympic Games”. The latter actually specifies that Paris is “responsible” for the “installation of directional signage” and the “decoration of the Parisian territory in the colors of the Games”.

Finally, to opponents claiming that the structures will not be reused - which would go against the sustainable Games promised by Anne Hidalgo - the town hall affirms "that at the end of the months of operation, the structure will be dismantled and the whole canvases will be recycled or reused to create products such as kits, bags, etc. This operation, included in the specifications, will be the responsibility of the service provider and is included in the amount of the subsequent contract.”

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