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Paris' Moulin Rouge cabaret gets its red windmill back

July 6, 2024

Just in time for the Olympics, Paris' iconic Moulin Rouge cabaret club has unveiled a new red windmill. The landmark sails had mysteriously fallen off back in April.

The Moulin Rouge cabaret in Paris, France
Paris' landmark cabaret the Moulin Rouge unveiled a new windmillImage: Bertrand Guay/AFP/dpa/picture alliance

Several hundred delighted locals and tourists gathered Friday outside the Moulin Rouge cabaret club, one of the French capital's most visited attractions, to celebrate the new four red blades for its iconic windmill.

The club's landmark windmill sails fell off in April, but the new blades were unveiled nearly a week before the Olympic torch was due to pass through the venue on July 15. The Games begin on July 26.

"The windmill without its wings is a void for Paris, it was just sad," said managing director Jean-Victor Clerico. "The idea was to be ready for the Olympic Games."

The sails fell on the night of April 25. Part of the cabaret's illuminated sign also crashed to the ground. It was a technical problem, according to the cabaret's director. No one was injured in the incident.

The Moulin Rouge cabaret in Paris, France on July 5, 2024.
Dancers perform in front of the Moulin Rouge cabaret during the inauguration of the club's new windmillImage: Thibault Camus/AP/dpa/picture alliance

What is the Moulin Rouge known for?

An icon of Paris' Montmartre neighborhood, the Moulin Rouge is famous for its show of the French can-can, the wild traditional dance from Jacques Offenbach's early 19th century operettas, performed by dancers in traditional petticoats and frills.

The windmill was first lit on October 6, 1889 for the opening of the Moulin Rouge.

Celebrating its 135th anniversary this year, the cabaret is a major tourist attraction. It was further immortalized in Baz Luhrmann's 2001 film musical featuring the same name.

According to the cabaret's management, the Moulin Rouge's performers represent 18 nationalities and it receives 600,000 spectators a year.

Backstage at the Moulin Rouge in Paris

dh/rmt (AP, AFP)