An iconic Parisian canal is being drained for the first time in 15 years and a whole host of bizarre and unexpected objects have already surfaced. For the first time since 2001, the Canal Saint-Martin in Paris was drained so it could be cleaned, and the photos of the operation do a pretty neat job of answering that question.
The Canal Saint-Martin is at the heart of the French capital’s 10th arrondissement, one of the city’s most exclusive and fashionable districts.
But in recent years the area has developed a reputation for its lively nightlife, and a magnet for tourists and locals alike.
Residents blame this surge in popularity as the reason for some of the more bizarre objects that have been discovered lurking in the canal.
An abandoned scooter, covered in mud, is revealed as the water from the three-mile stretch of canal is drained away.
The last time the three-mile stretch of water was emptied in 2001, among the 40 tons of rubbish were bicycles, motorbikes, gold coins, wheelchairs, a toilet bowl, two First World War shells and even a car.
This time round, the clean-up team has already discovered a pistol during the operation, which has been handed over to the police.
Emptying to 90,000 cubic metres of water, and renovating its four double locks, will cost the city 9.5million euros (£7million), and it will remain drained of water for three months.
The first step was to drain the water until just 50cm were left in the bottom of the canal.
The last time the canal was drained, in 2001, more than 40 tons of rubbish and discarded possessions were revealed. The Canal Saint-Martin runs through the heart of one of the French capital’s most fashionable districts, the 10th arrondissement
An abandoned bicycle lies covered in mud at the bottom of the canal, which has been uncovered in the clean-up operation
This allowed the team to fish out the 4.5 tons of trout, carp and bream that have made their home in the canal, and transfer them to another part of the canal.
The team had just three days to catch the fish before the canal is fully drained on Thursday. Napoleon Bonaparte commissioned the canal in 1804, according to news site France24, to provide the city with goods and fresh water.
They even launched a social media campaign to draw attention to the vandalism and drinking, posting Instagram images of piles of vomit and smashed bottles.
The deputy mayor in charge of the environment, Celia Blauel, beseeched Parisians to respect the canal once its makeover is finished.
‘If everyone mucks in and avoids throwing anything in the water, we might be able to swim in the canal in a few years, as in numerous other European cities,’ she told Le Parisien.
Images souce: scooplify.com