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Nudists get their place in the sun at Paris park

© AFP | For several weeks, fans of nudism will have their own space in the Bois de Vincennes, a huge park of the eastern edge of Paris

PARIS (AFP) - 

Parisian nudists will finally have a spot to take it all off -- for the next few weeks at least -- at a secluded zone in the Bois de Vincennes park east of the city.

"The creation of an area in the Bois de Vincennes where naturism will be authorised is part of our open-minded vision for the use of Parisian public spaces," said Penelope Komites, a deputy mayor in charge of the city's parks.

The site, still considered an experiment, will be open from Thursday until October 15, from 8:00 am-7:30 pm (0600-1730 GMT).

Signs will let park users know what's going on (or coming off) in the clearing near the park's bird reserve, spread over 7,300 square metres (79,000 square feet, or nearly two acres).

Officials vow that no voyeurism or exhibitionism will be tolerated in order to assure the respect for those making the most of their natural state.

"It's a true joy, it's one more freedom for naturists," said Julien Claude-Penegry of the Paris Naturists Association, estimating that thousands of people in the region will want to take advantage of the site.

"It shows the city's broad-mindedness and will help change people's attitudes toward nudity, toward our values and our respect for nature," he said, adding that he has been a practicing nudist for 20 years.

Parisians already have one public pool where they can swim in the buff three times a week, and across the country some 460 areas are reserved for naked enjoyment, including 155 camping sites and 73 beaches.

More than 2.6 million people in France have made nudism a regular habit, according to the France 4 Naturism association.

© 2017 AFP