Paris's Moulin Rouge inaugurates new windmill sails ahead of Olympics

Paris's Moulin Rouge cabaret club, whose landmark windmill sails fell down in April, inaugurated its new blades on Friday, nearly a week before the Olympic torch was due to pass the venue.

Several hundred delighted locals and tourists gathered outside the club, one of the most visited attractions in the French capital, to celebrate the four red blades, decked out in gold and red.

"The windmill without its wings is a void for Paris, it was just sad," said managing director Jean-Victor Clerico, who runs the family business that attracts 600,000 visitors every year.

"The idea was to be ready for the Olympic Games," he added, which begin on July 26.

The Olympic torch is due to pass the venue on July 15.

A show of French cancan, the wild traditional dance from Jacques Offenbach's operettas of the early 19th century, was performed in front of the club on Friday by dancers in traditional petticoats and frills.

"I live in the neighbourhood and the Moulin Rouge has been part of my life for 65 years. I'm a fan of dancing, the French cancan, bubbles and good humour," Nicole Doucin, 86, told AFP.

"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.

The sails fell down on the night of April 25.

The first three letters on the cabaret's facade, M, O and U, also fell off. No one was injured in the incident.

The club's management has said it has ruled out any "malicious act".

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