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13.6.04

Sixty Years of Agence France-Presse

A short article (L'AFP ouvre les archives d'août 1944, June 10), by Gilles Dobbelaere for France 2, announces the 60th anniversary of Agence France-Presse, born just as Paris was liberated. To celebrate its anniversary, the news agency will exhibit some rare photographs from August 1944, its first month in existence.

The first AFP newsflash, 220 words in length, appeared at 11:30 am the same day that the first free newspapers were published, August 20, 1944. Newsflashes were then distributed by bicycle messengers to the newspapers and to the headquarters of the Resistance. Having at hand thus the best text and photographs relating to the whole week of revolution in Paris, from August 20 up to the parade down the Champs Elysées, AFP will show 170 in its "walking memorial," to be unveiled in Paris on June 23: 60 columns spread over 22 sites, creating a free outdoor museum. One of the stages of this route will be the Square of the Bourse (Stock Exchange), which was the seat of [AFP's predecessor] Havas and where AFP is now. Four columns will be placed there, dedicated to the revival of the free press after the Occupation.
There is one of these photographs with the story linked above. I'm still looking for an Internet site with the images. I hope that AFP creates one.

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