...Continued from page 1

Local residents evacuated themselves to take refuge in a local restaurant. Things are so jumbled together in Paris, that when a burning film studio next to your house is blazing, you just pop around to the local to wait it out.

The site of the big fire last Tuesday. There were no reported injuries.

The demolition-renovation under way was intended to re-do the studios as a film technician school, run by a foundation known as the Femis. While the work was going on, the students were exiled to Seine-Saint-Denis; and they were scheduled to return this coming September.

Night Club To Go At Auction

Behind the door at number eight, rue du Faubourg-Montmartre, sits an empty night club called the Palace. It has seen no night clubbers since 1. January 1997.

Last Monday, notaries led a group of four possible individual bidders into the 3,000 square-metre cavern, which has not be touched by a whisk-broom since it closed, nor has it been visited by plumbers to stop up leaks.

In a short word, the joint's a mess. The main room, which is a classified historical monument - eh oui! - has puddles, but the bar has bottles and ashtrays. Performer's dressing rooms are in pretty good shape, but the offices are a shambles. In short, again, the joint needs a lot of work.

It's starting price is expected to be 22 million francs, but it may go for as little as 16.5 million if no one proposes at least 20 million on the day of the auction. Regardless of the work required to fix it up, there are not many 3,000 square-metre night clubs available in downtown Paris these days, so it is hard to imagine that there will be no takers.

Two other visits are programmed for interested parties, on the 12. and 21. March. The auction will take place on Tuesday, 24. March. Info. Tel.: 01 44 82 24 92.

The Trial of Maurice Papon

The week wrapped up the final witnesses and on Monday the civil attorneys will begin their summations.

During the 79th session of the trail last Wednesday, the 87th and last witness testified. This was Jean Pierre-Bloch, 93, who was one of the leaders of General de Gaulle's intelligence service while the General was in England during the occupation.

This service, the BCRA, had lists of all sympathizers in important positions in occupied France, and Mr. Bloch said, Maurice Papon's name was not on them.

For those not on the list, there were other lists with names of those who would replace the Vichy functionaries - and Maurice Papon's name was not on these lists either.

Web Sites With Contents About the Papon Trial:

The Matisson family were the first to launch a civil case against Maurice Papon, in 1981. Jean-Marie Matisson runs the website, and reports from the courtroom. At the website, click on 'Affaire Papon.'

Another website of interest contains daily coverage of the trial by the Bordeaux paper, the Sud Ouest.

SportsNews: 65th Paris-Nice Bike Race

This was expected to start Sunday on the rue de Verdunrestos 4 temps in Suresnes, and finish 10.2 kilometres later in the avenue Foch in Paris. While a beginning to a race like this is called a 'prologue,' it is against the clock, and the score will count in the end.

Typical mall restaurants in a typical Parisian mall.

It is probably a nice race, running up hills in Suresnes and down to the bridge, then across the Bois de Boulogne along the Allée de Longchamp, a twirl around the place Dauphine and a sprint up Foch.

I wonder how long it takes, if it is against the clock? How does bike racing expect to get new fans if all the reports are about riders, and there are no facts, facts, facts?

Other SportsNews:- France beat Ireland this afternoon, 18 to 16, in the second game of the Five-Nations Rugby Tournament. France is already hoping for a Grand 'Chelem,' but the rugby fan in this household said the Irish played better throughout the game and only lost by a fluke.

The World Cup SportsBar Now Open 35 Hours a Week

Real SportsFans hang out the SportsBar for 35 hours a week, at the Football Café, and have relaxing pitchers of hot beer with cubed ice while discussing the finer points of the game of football, without getting too 'philopsycho' about it. If the game takes longer than 35 hours, SportsFans go into overtime. Existentialy cool.

Less uplifting are the 'official' Web sites: represented by the FIFA - which stands for Federation International - and the French Organizing Committee, known to all far and wide as the CFO. I don't what the initials stand for, just like RATP does not sound like métro to me.

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