Paris is a city that loves its starving artists. But a stand-off could cost the city one of its most-visited bastions of Bohemianism (and contemporary art).
After a long legal squabble, during which time the artists become a curiosity for passers-by and tourists, a deal with Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe saw the building bought by the city a decade ago and rented back to the artists.
Right now, about 30 painters and sculptures work there -- some hailing from as far as America or Japan. The public is free to wander in and out of the six floors at will.
But city officials have asked the collective to cut of number of artists who work there full time 20 down to 15. That would leave 15 spots for visiting artists, who "rent out" space on a one-year basis. City officials say this will increase the number of creatives who pass through.
But the artists claim the move will hamper their ability to build a close-knit community. "When you think of Paris you think of a cultural city," artist Eve Tesorio told Reuters. "It's that which shouldn't just be a facade."