It is only a matter of days. “The decree is written, the panels ready, a graphic document is still missing which shows the space concerned by the authorization”, explains Hervé Menchon, EELV deputy to the mayor of Marseille; in charge of the coast and the sea. Thus, the cove of Fallen Stones, an hour’s walk from Luminy in the Calanques National Park, will become officially naturist. Until now, naturism was only tolerated there.
“The overcrowding of Sugiton means that there has been a report of tourists to this place, continues the elected official. Naturists, present on the scene for decades, have had to justify themselves for being without clothes, sometimes in a way that is not always very cool. We wanted to protect this practice, which is recognized as one of the elements of the park’s intangible heritage. »
“The atmosphere is not the same”
“The Fallen Stones have always been naturist,” testifies Anne-Marie Catella, who has been bathing there for forty years, summer and winter alike. With other regulars, she is at the origin of the official request for classification as a naturist area, with “the idea that this place of life, where one is in harmony with nature, does not disappear”. “This recognition can help when we talk to people who we ask to respect our practice,” she hopes. Since access to the place is again authorized, after the fatal accident following a landslide in 2006, and that “Sugiton has become the place to be”, they are more numerous to push until the ” terraced cove of rocks and stone slabs”, as described by the tourist office.
“On busy days, there may have been up to 2,500 people this summer in Sugiton, and around forty people at the Fallen Stones,” says Bruno Saura, president of the Marseille naturist association. “The atmosphere is not the same when people overflow from Sugiton and stand aside, he assures. Between naturists, we do not look at each other, modesty is in the look. There is, on the part of many people, a lack of culture of naturism, in addition next to a large metropolis like Marseille. »
The issue of boats too
He recalls, however, that “the city was the first in France to have two naturist associations, created in 1928 and 1931”: “For many, we owe them to the children who were treated by this exposure to the sun from tuberculosis and rickets . When they grew up, they were among the pioneers of this way of life. “The creeks, before, there was nobody, apart from the hunters and the fishermen, he continues. Much of this sense of freedom in Marseille is linked to naturism. I remember, in the mid-1980s, my father and I bathed in En-Vau, half of the people were naked, it didn’t pose a problem for anyone. »
For Hervé Menchon, the reflection does not stop at the Fallen Stones. “There is the possibility, subsequently, of authorizing naturism on other portions of the coast in an island situation”, explains the elected official. He cites the Frioul archipelago, “on places that are not very frequented. But before that, he wants to learn the lessons of the establishment of the naturist area at the Fallen Stones, and the experimentation this summer with the contingent of 400 visitors to Sugiton. Like the others, the regulars of the Fallen Stones will have to reserve their place. This should undoubtedly bring serenity to the small cove, even if Anne-Marie Catella points to other risks of voyeuristic gazes: “Since the ban on mooring in En-Vau and Port-Pin, we have seen more boats here,” she says.