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French language groups protest English-only Olympic slogan

By: Associated Press
February 17, 2017 Updated: February 17, 2017 at 11:20 am
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PARIS (AP) — Groups defending the French language are lodging legal protests over the English-only slogan used for Paris' 2024 Olympic bid.

Lawyer Emmanuel Ludot submitted a request with the government's rights defense authority to suspend use of the slogan "Made for Sharing." He also submitted a warning to the bid committee that the slogan could violate a law on protecting the French language.

Ludot said Friday that the language groups want the slogan to be in both French and English — or in French only — because "we want them to communicate in the language that is ours."

The Paris bid responded by saying it is "astonished by certain reactions" and maintained its right to "communicate on an international level."

Earlier this month, the Paris bid's international campaign was projected onto the Eiffel Tower, in English and in French. The slogan "Venez partager" was the French equivalent for "Made for Sharing."

Paris is bidding with Budapest and Los Angeles for the right to host the Olympics. The International Olympic Committee will choose the host city on September 13, in the Peruvian capital Lima.

"We are extremely committed to the promotion of our country, of its values, of the French language," Paris 2024 bid director Etienne Thobois said in a statement. "In order to win, you have to bear in mind that the IOC members who will vote in Lima won't be French.

"That's why, like all the organizations who speak to an international audience, we made the choice to express ourselves in French and in English. This enables us to directly share our project as much as possible."

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