Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

No strategy and a beige suit

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014

Read more

ENCORE!

Alain Choquette: A Hilarious Magician in Paris

Read more

FOCUS

France welcomes Iraqi Christian refugees

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Emmanuel Macron: A new economy minister with a pro-business agenda

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

#TECH 24

Changing the world, one video game at a time

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Socialist Party summer conference kicks off in explosive atmosphere

Read more

  • EU leaders choose Tusk and Mogherini for top jobs, discuss Russia sanctions

    Read more

  • Austerity row overshadows French Socialist’s annual rally

    Read more

  • UN peacekeepers battle jihadists in Golan Heights

    Read more

  • Egypt sentences Brotherhood leader Badie to life

    Read more

  • Ceasfire allows Gaza families to relax on the beach

    Read more

  • S. Africa condemns 'military coup' in Lesotho

    Read more

  • Kerry calls for 'coalition of nations' to battle IS militants

    Read more

  • Ukrainian plane with seven on board crashes in Algeria

    Read more

  • Exclusive: Fabius warns Russia of more sanctions

    Read more

  • IMF backs Lagarde amid French corruption probe

    Read more

  • Ebola drug ‘ZMapp’ heals all monkeys in study

    Read more

  • British killer escapes from French psychiatric hospital

    Read more

  • Police hunt for British boy with brain tumour taken to France

    Read more

  • Ukraine to relaunch NATO membership bid

    Read more

  • Suriname leader’s son pleads guilty to courting Hezbollah

    Read more

  • Mapping Ukraine: Canada and Russia in ‘tweet for tat’ row

    Read more

  • France shines in IMF list of world’s promising economists

    Read more

France

Avignon arts festival to move if far-right takes town vote

© Photo: AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-03-24

France's longest-running annual arts festival has threatened to quit its home in the southern city of Avignon should the far-right National Front win the mayor's office, a day after the party topped the polls in the first round of local elections.

The Festival d'Avignon has been held in the city each summer since 1947 and regularly attracts tens of thousands of spectators who come to see hundreds of performers from around the world.

But the festival’s director, Olivier Py, told France Info radio Monday that he would look for a new home for the event if the National Front (FN) comes out on top in the second round of the elections on March 30th.

"I cannot work with a National Front mayor's office. That is for me something unimaginable," he said.

Py said the founding principles of France's best-known arts festival were at odds with the anti-immigration, nationalist agenda of the FN.

"I cannot see how the festival could survive and defend its ideals which are those of openness and of welcoming others. I don't see how the festival could remain in Avignon," he said.

"Therefore I think we would leave. There is no other solution."

An FN list headed by mayoral candidate Philippe Lottiaux claimed 29.54 percent of votes cast in Avignon on Sunday, edging the Socialist Party's Cecile Helle by just 27 votes.

The two leaders will now take part in a run-off vote which will also feature candidates from the centre-right UMP party and the far-left Left Front, which claimed just under 21 percent and 12.5 percent of the first round votes, respectively.

The FN's showing reflected a strong performance nationwide and the party is expected to emerge from the second round in control of up to 15 towns – although Avignon is not considered amongst those most likely to fall to the party led by Marine le Pen.

The Avignon festival is held in July in the courtyard of the "Pope's Palace" and other historical venues in the city. Alongside the official festival, there are a number of fringe events and spectacles that draw huge crowds.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

Date created : 2014-03-24

  • FRANCE

    France’s ‘Republican Front’ in tatters as FN surges

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Has the National Front broken France’s two-party system?

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Historic gains for France's far-right in local elections

    Read more

COMMENT(S)