Moulin Rouge windmill sails collapse overnight

The windmill sails of the Moulin Rouge, the cabaret club in Paris, have fallen off.

The blades of the red windmill atop the world-famous club collapsed to the ground in the early hours of Thursday morning.

The Moulin Rouge is a popular tourist attraction located in the north of the French capital and is known as the birthplace of the modern form of the can-can dance.

In a press statement, a club spokesperson said: “The sails of the Moulin Rouge detached around 1:45 am, the time at which the Moulin Rouge had closed its doors, fortunately causing no injuries.

“The spectators of the second show had all already left.”

The reason for the damage is not yet known.

“The Moulin Rouge will be open this evening and will welcome its 1,700 spectators as usual, with the passion and enthusiasm that have made its reputation,” the spokesperson continued.

“We are doing everything we can to ensure that our emblematic ‘windmill’ regains its sails as quickly as possible and that they continue to turn for many years to come.

“We would like to point out that the structure of its sails and mechanism are checked every two months by a specialised company.

“The causes of the technical incident will be clarified to prevent its recurrence.”

Moulin Rouge dancers
Can-Can dancers from the Paris club Moulin Rouge (John Stilwell/File/PA)

A man living near the landmark told the PA news agency he heard “a loud noise and people shouting” at around 1:30am on Thursday night.

Paco Neumann, 41, a Spanish journalist, said: “I didn’t go out because I was afraid it could be an attack, then very early in the morning on television I learned what happened with the Moulin Rouge.

“I pass in front of the Moulin Rouge at least twice a day on my way to the gym, it’s a historical monument that I hold very dear, I also frequent the terrace which is at the top.

“It’s curious to see it without its wings – luckily there were no injuries, so in the end it’s a historic event too.”

French cultural minister Rachida Dati posted on X: “The @moulinrouge, one of the symbols of Paris known throughout the world, lost its wings last night.

“It’s emotional particularly for the world of entertainment and lovers of Paris.

“The protection and restoration of our heritage is one of my priorities, the @MinistereCC stands alongside the @moulinrouge, so that its special shine is restored.”

A movie set in the club, directed by Baz Luhrmann and starring Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor, received eight Academy Award nominations and won two in 2002 and was later adapted for the stage.

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