Demolition was started on one of the six celebrated iron pavilions of Baltard at Les Halles, the former wholesale food market that served Paris for over 100 years, on Thursday (12 August).
TGV Paris skyline with Les Halles in foreground (3shots)
LV & CU Artist painting the skeleton of Les Halles ( 3 shots)
TV Bulldozer working inside
LV & CU Men working with blow-torches (3 shots)
GV & SV People watch as walls are pushed in by machine (7 shots)
TGV PAN...Remaining section of Les Halles
Initials ES.1515 ES. 1530
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Background: Demolition was started on one of the six celebrated iron pavilions of Baltard at Les Halles, the former wholesale food market that served Paris for over 100 years, on Thursday (12 August).
Conservationists fought a desperate rearguard battle to save the famous Paris landmark. Their efforts were recently rewarded on August 2 when M. Christen de la Melene, chairman of the company for the redevelopment of Les Halles, announced that at least one of the pavilions was to be saved...by being dismantled and rebuilt elsewhere.
By the mid-1970s the 40-acre (16 hectare) site will have been transformed into a giant new complex that will include two express underground stations, an underground shopping precinct, a public library and a museum of contemporary arts, as well as new housing and shopping space.
For more than a hundred years, the bustle and colour of Les Halles, designed by the architect Baltard in the middle of the last century, made it a focal point for the food lovers of Paris. The market was at one time famed for its traffic jams, its prostitutes, the 350 cafes that surrounded it and the estimated 300,000 rats that lived off the left-overs. Even the departure of the vegetable wholesalers -- for the new site near Orly -- could not kill the extraordinary vitality of the place.
Now workmen have nearly completed demolition of the markets, and the housing areas nearby will be next. Silent protesters turned out to watch work on Thursday; some were equipped with cameras to record the sad and historic occasion.