Cité Durmar

July 5, 2011By Louis FraysseSecret Paris

A Fight to Keep the Peace

cite-durmar-et-du-figuier, paris
The Cité Durmar in Paris’s 11th arrondissement. Photo: Louis Fraysse

Located at number 154, rue Oberkampf, in Paris’s 11th arrondissement, the Cité Durmar is a leftover of 19th-century industrial Paris. Its inhabitants – sculptors, graphic artists, publishers, bric-a-brac traders and craftspeople – see themselves as the memory keepers of a time now forgotten and pride themselves on their social diversity. Underneath the peaceful and almost out-of-time look of the place, however, trouble is brewing. For several years now, the cité’s inhabitants have been involved in a heated legal battle: ever since a real-estate company bought the land in 2004, it has been trying to evict the current tenants so they can raze the old houses and replace them with new buildings. The fight goes on.

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