EURONEWS — Before the stars set foot on the red carpet in Cannes when it opens on Wednesday, security is being ramped up. With France under a state of emergency since November’s terror attacks, and 45,000 people expected to attend, the city’s mayor David Lisnard has enlisted the help of an Israeli counter-terrorism expert.
“Cannes must be protected not because of the cocktail parties, but because it is a professional event of a high level which brings honour to France,” he told AFP news agency.
“The festival, as the (Cannes) mayor has said, is special in terms of international prestige for France… We are faced with a higher risk than ever. Faced with an enemy determined to strike us at any moment, we must prove extremely vigilant at all times.” Bomb experts will sweep the area daily, while bag inspections will be carried out at Palais which will be secured by 400 private security agents. Hundreds of police and specialised units will also be patrolling the French Riviera city.
Last month police and special forces simulated an attack on the Palais des Festivals, where major celebrities will attend film premieres. The festival has experienced security breaches in the past. In 1975, a bomb exploded outside the main venue hours before the opening, and in 2014 two men were escorted off the red carpet after passing security.