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Coins, catfish, bikes and bottles: the treasures of Paris' Canal Saint-Martin

It’s 4.5 kilometres long, holds 90,000 cubic metres of water and contains treasures ranging from gold coins to washing machines… The Canal

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Coins, catfish, bikes and bottles: the treasures of Paris' Canal Saint-Martin

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It’s 4.5 kilometres long, holds 90,000 cubic metres of water and contains treasures ranging from gold coins to washing machines…

The Canal Saint-Martin in Paris is being dredged for the first time in 15 years.

Fish are evacuated ahead of the operation and all the water is transferred into the capital’s River Seine.

A favourite hangout for the French capital’s bobos — or bourgeois bohemians — the waterway will take three months and millions of euros to drain and clean.

As rolled up carpets, suitcases, street signs and bikes emerged, one local office worker described the Canal as “a giant dustbin.”

One woman said:
“When you see the bikes, the scooters, you think ‘OK, that was an accident.’ But the bottles, they’ve been thrown in on purpose. It’s shocking.”

Another child was slightly more hopeful about the operation. When asked what he thought might be found, he said:
“For example, coins, gold bars or rubies!”

Local authorities have warned people to resist the temptation to jump in and search for items they may have lost over the years.

In images

Hundreds of the capital’s Vélib hired bicycles have been found.

And bottles. Lots of bottles…

Catfish, filth and ‘little secrets’ were also found.