Summer Held Hostage

FRANCOIS MORI/AP

CAN'T GO ON: The strikes in Paris and elsewhere led to canceled shows

German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder isn't the only one seeing his summer vacation plans implode. Arts enthusiasts from around the world arrived in France last week for the annual summer festival season, but were treated to an unwelcome drama, as half a dozen marquee events were canceled — including the legendary Avignon festival, shut down for the first time in its 57-year history. On Thursday, Avignon director Bernard Faivre d'Arcier somberly announced his program had fallen victim to unruly protests by striking performing-arts workers — strikes that torpedoed music festivals in Aix-en-Provence and La Rochelle earlier in the week. Many more events...

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