Where the Money Is

photo: cafe la corona

Deserted terrace; gray day by the Seine.

This Magazine Is Not a Publication

Paris:- Monday, 8. February 1999:- This week the idea popped into my head that I should try to find the euro symbol for my computer, because we are now six weeks into 'Euroland.'

I say 'popped' because it wasn't on my mind until I stepped off the Pont des Arts on the Latin Quarter side, and noticed the Monnaie de Paris, right there on the Quai de Conti. I figured if they are making it - paper cash Euros and coins - they should have the symbol for it too. (Read 'The Secret 'Euro' Bug' in this issue for the answer.)

Basically, the 'Monnaie' is the French mint. While Willy Sutton is supposed to have said he robbed banks 'because that's where the money is,' this is seldom true today. If you want a bundle of it from your bank, you probably have to make a date with them.

Not so at the 'Monnaie.' The French mint not only has money in its museum and will show you how it isphoto: quai grands augustins made in its ateliers, but if you want a really quick tour you just go around the corner off the Quai de Conti, to the 'Monnaie's' boutique. There, you can not only look at it, you can buy some too.

Just a bit further along from the mint, the Quai des Grands Augustins.

The mint puts out all sorts of coins besides money, and as souvenirs a lot of these are not expensive at all. There are also coins for collectors; some of these being gold - guaranteed! - can be pricey too. All in all, the Monnaie de Paris has a lot to see, a bit of history, some guided visits and special programs for children, and some really well-made hard-coin souvenirs to take away. Willy Sutton would have liked it a lot.

Monnaie de Paris - Musée and Ateliers, 11. Quai de Conti, Paris 6. Museum open from Tuesday to Friday from 11:00 to 17:30; Saturdays and Sundays, from 12:00 to 17:30. Atelier: individual visits possible on Wednesdays and Fridays at 14:15. Info. Tel.: 01 40 46 55 35. Boutique, 2. Rue Guénégaud, Paris 6. Métro: Saint-Michel. Boutique open from Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 17:45; on Saturdays from 10:00 to 13:00 and from 14:00 to 17:30. Info. Tel.: 01 40 46 58 58.

Tocqueville This Week

This week's 'The Tocqueville Connection' has its usual number of interesting articles and features. There are two I will read as soon as I have time: one is the 'OECD Issues Stern Warning' - which is a warning to France, to 'Shape Up!' The other is a bit of a round-up about jazz in France; its history, Paris' history; which is currently on view as a travelling exhibition in the United States.

French 'Net Pub Takes Punch On the Nose

A couple of guys in Brittany are running a internet magazine called 'Echos' along with a host service for local businesses and personal Web pages. The law discovered that a couple of the mini-sites were dirty, so the guys got busted for hustling kiddie porn. We've seen this in France before; and my own access ISP took a fall on the same thing a couple of years ago.

But for 'Cyberbrain,' as the guys call their garage, there is a 'Catch-22' to it. They've been charged as if they are periodical publishers. Last December they wrote to Madame la Ministre de la Culture et de la Communication, to ask how to become a legal publication, as defined by the law in France.

One act which is necessary, is to deposit a printed copy of the publication - the 'dépôt légal - atphoto: the sandwich stairs the Imprimerie Nationale. At the moment, there is no legal way to register a Web-based publication with a 'dépôt legal.' Thus, no Web publication based in France is a publication, as defined by law.

Our guys in Brittany did get an answer from the Prime Minister's office. It said, in effect, that there are no laws defining electronic pubications in France - therefore they do not exist. Logically, if they do not exist, then the fellows putting out the 'Echo du Village' are not producing a publication, and cannot, therefore, be distributing kiddie porn.


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