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Marseille: a box of light

A frenzy of old glory and noise—give the 2013 Capital of Culture a chance

By John Gimlette   January 2013

The view from Notre Dame de la Garde, where people bring gifts to the Virgin to thank her for saving their lives (photo: Superstock)

When I told French friends I was going to Marseille to research a book, they were horrified. They said the only things the Marseillais have ever been famous for are football (at which they cheat), soap (which they never use) and the national anthem (which is actually Alsatian). These days, I was told, almost all of them are either on benefits or heroin, or some sort…

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