Can't go topless in Paris -- even at the beach

Sunbathers at Paris Plages must cover up

The buff rebuffed

Ana Arevalo/AFP/Getty Images

For the past decade, Parisians have flocked each summer to Paris Plages, which transforms the banks of the Seine River to a series of urban beaches. All the necessities are there: white sand, parasols, roving ice cream vendors, even free concerts. One site currently has a giant screen allowing loungers to catch the Olympics.

But some appear to have been taking the beach theme a little too far. While topless sunbathing is welcome on beaches outside the city, Paris police are warning sunbathers to dress “in accordance with good morals and public order,” or face a fine of at least $46. Anyone who bares all and shows their “genital area or breasts” could face a much higher penalty—a year in prison.

Paris Plages, now in its eleventh year, was created by Socialist mayor Bertrand Delanoë to provide a beachside holiday to those who couldn’t afford to leave the city. Some criticized it as an expensive frivolity, but it’s expanded several times, a testament to its popularity, even without full-frontal nudity.

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