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France

Mayoral hopeful would tear down Paris’s tallest skyscraper

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-02-08

Dominating the skyline in southern Paris, and competing with the capital’s trademark Eiffel tower, is the Montparnasse Tower – an “urban catastrophe” that needs to be torn down, according to mayoral candidate Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet.

Better known by her initials NKM, Kosciusko-Morizet told the French weekly Journal du Dimanche that if she had a magic wand she would demolish the 210-metre black skyscraper, whose looming presence amid the Parisian Haussmann-style six-storey buildings has been controversial since it was completed in 1973.

Whether or not her wish could ever become a reality, however, would not be up to her if she ever gets elected.

The head of the building’s owners’ association, which counts around 300 residential and commercial members, was quick to defend their property.

“The city does not own the Montparnasse Tower,” she told daily newspaper Le Figaro. “I’m not at all sure the owners would agree to anything like this. But the job of mayor is not to search out pet projects but to find solutions to real problems.”

NKM’s comments are the latest in a series of visions for the city’s aesthetic future as she battles Socialist rival Anne Hidalgo for the French capital’s top job in elections due to take place in March.

Last week NKM, who was a minister under centre-right former president Nicolas Sarkozy, unveiled her vision for revamping Paris’s 14 “phantom” metro stops, some of which have been abandoned for over 70 years, with ideas including underground swimming pools and nightclubs.

According to recent polls, Hidalgo is around five points ahead of NKM to win the March vote, which will be taken by city councillors the day after country-wide local elections.

Date created : 2014-02-08

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