(Paris) It’s part of the “legacy” promised at the end of the 2024 Olympics: Paris City Hall unveiled the first bathing sites in the Seine for 2025 on Sunday, the result of state efforts and communities to clean up the river.
Sunday morning, tourists strolling on the picturesque quays located between the right bank and Île Saint-Louis were able to witness an unusual spectacle: instead of river boats, canoes and kayaks and swimmers in the river.
Among them, two deputies of Anne Hidalgo, the socialist mayor of Paris present on this summer nautical base to announce the very first authorized bathing sites on the Seine in Île-de-France.
“Promise kept. We are swimming in the Seine today and this is only the beginning, “said the mayor of the capital, who had made this commitment, made in 2016, a pillar of the candidacy file for the organization of the Olympic Games. , obtained the following year.
A promise more than 30 years old, since at the turn of the 1990s, his predecessor Jacques Chirac, before being elected head of state, had already formulated it, promising to take a dip himself “in front of witnesses”.
If she did not wet the swimsuit, unlike her two assistants for Town Planning, Emmanuel Grégoire, and Sports, Pierre Rabadan, Ms. Hidalgo has committed to immersing herself in the river “next year », that of the Games.
In addition to the “Bras Marie”, located very close to the Hôtel de Ville, the banks of Grenelle (15th century) and Bercy (12th century) will host equipped and secure bathing areas, indicates the town hall.
“The monitored bodies of water will be delimited by buoys and a pontoon to access them, with spaces for changing, showering and storing your belongings on the docks”, specifies the municipality.
To ensure the safety of swimmers, the various public (Haropa port authority, Voies navigables de France, police and regional prefectures) and private (bateaux-mouches, freight) players involved are still working to restrict or even ban river navigation. near the sites, indicates the town hall.
Like Pont Marie, that of Grenelle will be built on an arm of the Seine, cut by the Île aux Cygnes, in a place where the ballet of boats is less intense.
The third site, built under a footbridge crossing the river below Bercy Park, may require “additional protections” such as barriers, Anne Hidalgo’s entourage told AFP, even if the latter wishes the “fewer accommodations possible”.
Bathing in the Seine, which was already practiced under the Ancien Régime, was banned in Paris exactly a century ago (1923) by a prefectural decree, and a river brigade constantly patrols to prevent diving.