"Les bouquinistes," the legendary open-air booksellers whose dark green stalls have been a fixture along the banks of the Seine in Paris since the 17th century, "are pushing to be recognized as one of the world's cultural treasures on UNESCO's list of 'intangible heritage,' " AFP reported.
"We are spreaders of knowledge, with phenomenal diversity, incredible personalities--we play almost a philosophical role in the city," said bookseller Gildas Bouillaud.
Jerome Callais, president of the Bouquinistes association, observed: "Faced with the crisis among booksellers, the competition from multimedia and this increasing lack of education, we're hoping to put the spotlight on us. We're as important for tourists as the Eiffel Tower."
Olivia Polski, the City Hall official in charge of commerce, "is pushing the bouquinistes' campaign with the culture ministry, which has the final word on candidates who will be put forward in March 2019," AFP wrote.