Paris Park Temporarily Allows Guests to Go Nude in Nature
The French are famous for their love of wine, cheese, and—yes—nudity. But while the first two are enjoyed in abundance, you'll typically only see naked Parisians in museum paintings, on a beach in the French Riviera, or in the Roger Le Gall public swimming pool, where city residents can swim naked three times a week. That's set to change with a public park's newly designated "nudist zone," which, according to BBC News, will temporarily permit visitors to quite literally become one with the outdoors.
Located on the eastern edge of Paris, Bois de Vincennes is the city's largest park. There, officials have set aside a space near the bird reserve for nature lovers willing to shed their clothes and inhibitions. But just because these naturists lack garments doesn't mean they lack manners: Exhibitionism and voyeurism are verboten, all people must adhere to a special code of conduct, and signs have been erected to warn passersby of their brethren-in-the-buff.
"It's a true joy, it's one more freedom for naturists," Julien Claude-Penegry of the Paris Naturists Association told the AFP, according to the BBC. "It shows the city's broad-mindedness and will help change people's attitudes toward nudity, toward our values and our respect for nature."
Nudists in Paris have long clamored for larger spaces in which to congregate, as public nudity is banned—and punished with fines and jail time—unless it occurs in regulated areas. Not only does the city have a robust Nudist Association, "we've got 2 million nudists in France, which is doubled during the summer with visitors," city council member David Belliard said last year, according to the BBC. "For them Paris is the world's premier tourist destination, and there's no public place for them to go. We want to try out a recreational area where nudists can freely strip off."
That said, not everyone is singing the nudist zone's praises: When the initiative was first proposed in 2016, one centrist councilor called it "demented," and argued that it may be viewed as controversial in light of France's recent burkini ban.
For now, the Bois de Vincennes nudist zone is just a temporary experiment: Those wanting to frolic unclothed in the pretty urban park must schedule their visits before October 15, 2017. (They may also want to consider bringing an emergency fall sweater.)
[h/t BBC News]