Paris Weighs Ban to Darken City of Lights

Rule would require lights off between 1am and 7am

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 5, 2012 2:40 PM CST

(Newser) – Paris may have to come up with a new nickname, because a proposed new rule from France's minister for energy and environment would ban lights in and around stores and other public buildings between 1am and 7am. The energy-saving ban, scheduled to take effect in July, would affect the City of Light's Louis Vuitton store and other prominent buildings on its famous Avenue des Champs Elysees, and merchants are not happy. "Great!" says the VP of France's Commerce Council. "Another positive message sent to citizens and to tourists: The city will go dark!"

Store owners like leaving the lights on even after closing because it conveys a welcoming message—and increases security. Department stores, in particular, are known for leaving the lights on so tourists can enjoy their elaborate window displays at all hours. Merchants are concerned the move will hurt tourism, especially since there are also bans on Sunday store openings and evening shopping, Bloomberg reports. Paris churches, statues, fountains, bridges, and monuments—including the Eiffel Tower—already turn off their lights at 1am.

A view of the Champs Elysees avenue in Paris at night, with the traditional Christmas lighting, Wednesday Dec. 8, 2010.
A view of the Champs Elysees avenue in Paris at night, with the traditional Christmas lighting, Wednesday Dec. 8, 2010.   (AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere)
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