The secret life of Paris

By Kathryn Cuddihy

The French capital’s Canal Saint-Martin is being dredged for the first time in 15 years, what is being unearthed from beneath the sludge is giving a remarkable insight into Paris life.


Image source: Charles Platiau/Reuters

Image source: Yoan Valat/EPA
90,000 cubic metres of water are being emptied into the Seine, a task that will take cleaners three months to complete. The last time the canal was dredged in 2001 cleaners found two 75mm shells from the First World War, safes, gold coins, washing machines, at least one car and 40 tonnes of rubbish.

On the first day, onlookers spotted a number of Paris’s Vélib hire bikes, motorbikes, supermarket trolleys, a children’s doll’s pushchair, street signs and wheelie suitcases to name a few items.

Paris City Hall has warned against people climbing in to look for lost possessions.

So does rubbish say a lot about the people that live in the city and the city itself? Do you think that what has and will be found in Paris would differ greatly to the type of items that would be found in other cities of the world, New York, Tokyo, Shanghai or Sydney?

Read more about the clean up here.

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