In the Alpes-Maritimes, not everyone says “I love Nice”

I don’t love you either. Everyone knows, on the Rauba Capeu quay, the 3D and colorful structure that sits just a stone’s throw from the Promenade des Anglais, in giant letters: “I love Nice”. If she is the star of the selfies, some would just like to see her disappear. Justice has been seized. A city in the Var is also targeted.

And if the famousI like Nice” became”I like Nice” ? in any case, this is precisely what is requested Freedom Observatory who fights for the protection of the French language :“we have already changed the communication of the Eiffel Tower so why not the City of Nice”greedily explains the president of this Puy-de-Dôme association, Louis Maisonneuve.

Because the workhorse of the Observatory of Freedoms is strict respect for a law dating from 1994 and which prohibits the use of the language of Shakespeare for trademarks, trade marks or services as soon as there is a French word. “‘I like Nice’ it exists in French”, specifies Louis Maisonneuve.

We can obviously have fun with the reaction of the association composed of 70 members until then quite discreet. Except that there, they released the heavy artillery: no less than 11 procedures targeting cities that did not play the game, Nice of course, but also Paris or closer to us, Saint-Tropez.

“We won a fight against the Mucem de Marseille, we had the ‘I love Roubaix’ deleted and we have good hopes of winning against Nice”, hammers the defender of the language of Molière.”

On Twitter a beginning of controversy was born. And the messages against Anglicisms flourish.

It was in 2021 that the City of Nice for the first time received a letter from the observatory of freedoms asking the town hall to change what they call a slogan which also appears on all the communication elements of the city ​​hall. “Unacceptable” according to Louis Maisonneuve.

It’s outrageous to point fingers at us!

Louis Maisonneuve, President of the Observatory of Freedoms

When questioned, the main target, Christian Estrosi, has no words to describe the action in progress: “this kind of association which wants to fight against this will have to pay dearly because we will fight against them.”

And to justify: “it was the English who made Nice the first summer city, thanks to them we have an invaluable past thanks to them.”

What the observatory answers: “it’s scandalous to point the finger at us, we want respect for a law through public establishments and not for the Anglo-American to be everywhere”.

In the meantime, the structure, object of all the attention is rather very appreciated by tourists who, questioned, recognized that “I love Nice” is more international than “J’aime Nice”. The people of Nice that we met say for certain that the French version has a little romantic side.

The installation was also adorned with the colors of OGC Nice, the city’s football club, for the previous Coupe de France final.

In the Côte d’Azur, other town halls have had to suffer the wrath of the observatory of freedoms. Namely, that of Saint-Tropez, pointed out through in particular the Annonciade museum whose communication would be too English.

When questioned, the town hall says it is ready to, if one can say so, comply: “The city must comply, we are told. We are going to modify the signs which are already in French and English to add a language, probably Spanish.”

And to specify that “All future exhibitions will respect the Toubon law”.

It remains to be seen what the courts will decide for the dozen cases before it, it will be up to the administrative courts to decide. Some municipalities believe, in fact, that when it comes to messages in English, but, backed by artistic works, the Toubon law would not apply.

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