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Seine booksellers ask for Unesco listing for the trade

Bouquinistes have existed for centuries

Second-hand and antiquarian booksellers working on the banks of the Seine want their job to be listed by Unesco.

The bouquinistes, who sell from green booths, have existed for centuries but say the tradition is under threat due to reduced sales and competition from souvenir sellers.

The actual banks, including the booths, are already a Unesco world heritage site, but the booksellers, who number around 200, want the trade itself to be placed on the separate ‘intangible’ list, which includes such traditions as ‘the French gastronomic meal’.

The association which represents them says this would boost morale and protect the tradition. The LREM mayor of the 5e thinks it could attract tourists. The mairie is writing to the Culture Minis­try about the first step: placing the trade on a national heritage list.

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