Naked ambition: Paris eyes clothes-free leisure area

Parisians refreshing in the water of the Trocadero fountains in front of the Eiffel tower in Paris. The city could set up an outdoor naturism area as early as next summer.
Parisians refreshing in the water of the Trocadero fountains in front of the Eiffel tower in Paris. The city could set up an outdoor naturism area as early as next summer.PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (AFP) - Paris could set up an outdoor naturism area as early as next summer, in a possible first for the capital of a country which is the world's top destination for clothes-free leisure lovers.

Paris lawmakers voted late on Monday to approve a proposal by ecologists to set up the zone, possibly in one of two major wooded areas on the edge of the city.

Naturism "is developing and Paris so far has nowhere" that it can be practised, said David Belliard, co-chairman of the ecologist group in the city council.

He noted that two million French people practise naturism, which is already possible in several European cities including Barcelona, Berlin and Munich.

With over 100 clothes-free beaches and numerous holiday camps, France is the world's number one destination for naturists, said Bruno Julliard, deputy to Paris's Socialist Mayor Anne Hidalgo.

Describing the "respectable demand" for somewhere to bare all in the French capital, he said the next step was to choose a location.

This could be in one of Paris's two main woods - the Bois de Boulogne to the west, and Bois de Vincennes to the east - "near a lake, in a regulated setting so that there is no threat to public order," added Julliard.