In normal times, it’s carnage on the streets surrounding the Arc de Triomphe: cars honking, the stench of petrol, teenagers squaring off on the Champs-Elysées, etc. But as this incredible drone footage from video production company Drone Press shows, this usually heaving part of Paris has taken a turn for the serene since lockdown set in three weeks ago.
Now, pretty much no one is there to the keep the French capital’s arch company – and how magnificent it looks. On March 26, the tenth day of the nationwide French lockdown, Drone Press sent a camera-wielding drone through the skyscrapers of La Défense before homing in on the Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre’s deserted forecourt and a cleared-out Place de la Concorde.
Everywhere the camera goes, human life is scarce. Haven’t there always been hordes of tourists snapping keepsakes in front of IM Pei’s iconic glass pyramid? In this video, it’s the middle of the day, and there’s not a single selfie stick in sight.
Backed by a minimalist piano track, the whole thing’s frankly eerie AF, but also really quite beautiful. Whoever said Paris would one day turn into a toy town may have been right: that’s exactly what it looks like right now.
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