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Australian bookshop in Paris to remain open



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MEDIA RELEASE MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS

ALEXANDER DOWNER

FA134 4 November 1998

AUSTRALIAN BOOKSHOP IN PARIS TO REMAIN OPEN

I welcome the news that the Australian Bookshop in Paris will remain open and continue its valuable work promoting Australian literature, culture and tourism.

When Municipal authorities in Paris last month revoked the work and resident’s permit of the proprietor of the bookshop, Ms Elaine Lewis, I directed our Embassy in Paris to take the case up with French authorities.

It appears that the representations made by the Embassy have been successful. I understand that the French Embassy in Canberra also played a helpful role.

The decision means Ms Lewis will be able to keep her bookshop open and continue trading. It also gives her the breathing space to review her business operations without the fear of being forced to close and leave France.

The bookshop is an extremely popular centre for Australian literature, culture, society and tourism in the heart of Paris and there has been a tremendous groundswell of support both in Australia and France for keeping it open.

I welcome the cooperative approach of the French authorities in moving quickly to resolve this matter. The outcome also reflects positively on the strength and maturity of our links with France and the importance that cultural connections like the bookshop play in fostering the relationship.

Media Inquiries: Ministerial - Innes Willox (02) 6277 7500 or 0419 206 890 Departmental - Tony Melville (02) 6261 1555 or 0418 623 327

Media releases and speeches are available from DFAT via the internet, http://www.dfat.gov.au/