Sunday, 6 May 2012

The Locked Door

The first blow to the economy of Cluny came when Napoleon ordered the destruction of the abbey.

A new and different Napoleon has attacked the town again, by locking this door.

When the state owned abbey was opened up to paying visitors in the 1970s, the exit was strategically positioned to deposit the tourists right in the middle of the main street.

As they walked back to their cars or buses, they would stop, have a cup of coffee or a glass of wine on a terrace or buy a souvenir in one of the many shops.

On May 2nd, all that changed - the door was locked, as government cuts bite.

The abbey wants to keep the tourists all to themselves, it wants them to buy their souvenirs in its own shop and have a cup of coffee from its own vending machines.

So today - election day - the shopkeepers and restaurant owners have fought back. They blockaded the entrance to the abbey, to give it a taste of its own medicine.

Will it have any effect? Will they unlock the door? I don't know, but as our new president's campaign said "Change - is now" and the shopkeepers of Cluny won't take this lying down.

That leaves us all with the remaining, much bigger question, will Hollande be the one to find the key to open the door to a better future for this country?

1 comment:

  1. Please keep us updated on this if anything changes. I visited the abbey while at Taize and really enjoyed walking around Cluny. My friends and I even stopped at a cafe for coffee and at a few other shops before heading back to Taize. It would be very sad for the local businesses to suffer this way.


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