Legendary Paris cabaret venue Moulin Rouge gets its iconic windmill back in grand ceremony

Legendary Paris cabaret venue Moulin Rouge gets its iconic windmill back in grand ceremony

Paris's famous Moulin Rouge cabaret got its red windmill back during a special ceremony that featured can-can dancing on the plaza outside.

The mill's huge sails inexplicably collapsed after a show in April at the iconic venue, an emblem of the surrounding Montmartre neighborhood.

Part of the cabaret's illuminated sign also crashed to the ground as a result of what its director called a technical problem. No one was hurt, and the mayor of Paris's 18th district said the structure was not in danger.

The Moulin Rouge scrambled to repair the damage before July 15, when the Olympic torch relay is expected to draw big crowds as it passes through the area.

The windmill was first illuminated on October 6, 1889, at the opening of the Moulin Rouge.

Dancers perform the can can outside the restored Moulin Rouge (AP)
Dancers perform the can can outside the restored Moulin Rouge (AP)

The cabaret, marking its 135th anniversary this year, is a major tourist attraction and was celebrated in the 2001 Baz Luhrmann film musical starring Nicole Kidman.

Cabaret management says its performers represent 18 nationalities and it receives 600,000 spectators a year.

"I live in the neighbourhood and the Moulin Rouge has been part of my life for 65 years,” Nicole Doucin, 86, told AFP.

“I'm a fan of dancing, the French cancan, bubbles and good humour.”

"I heard of the inauguration on TikTok and I've always wanted to come to a show but it's so expensive, so it's so cool to watch this," said Autumn Mannsfeld, 25, from California.