The Site Of The Charlie Hebdo Killings Is Becoming A Tourist Attraction

The streets around the offices of Charlie Hebdo, the Paris-based satirical magazine where Islamist gunmen killed 12 people because editors there had published cartoons of Mohammed, are starting to attract crowds of mourners and tourists who are laying flowers and personal messages to honour the dead.

The scenes are reminiscent of those around “Ground Zero,” the site of the Sept 11 2001 destruction of the World Trade Center towers, which became (and remains) one of the largest tourist attractions in New York.

We visited the site this weekend.

Police have blocked off the streets around the Charlie Hebdo office. This is about as close as you can get.

Note that one of the offices is flying a 'Je suis Charlie' sign in solidarity with their neighbours.

People are drawn to the site because they want to pay tribute to the dead.

And because they want to see with their own eyes something that was, until a few days ago, unthinkable for most ordinary French people.

In France, writing political statements on walls is a time-honoured tradition.

The 'Je suis Charlie' slogan is on every building in Paris right now. Every shop window, every office has one.

This is about as close as you can get to the Charlie office.

A small hill of flowers has sprung up on the corner in front of police barricades.

It looks a bit of a mess but ...

The atmosphere is quiet and respectful.

It's eerie and moving to see a large crowd of people all silent or whispering (they're still all taking pictures though).

This is the view from the police barrier toward the Charlie office. You can see that a small theatre has been trapped in the 'frozen zone.'

It has also become a bit of a media circus.

The place is full of dozens of TV reporters broadcasting to channels all over the world.

They have parked their satellite trucks on the main boulevard a block away.

Here's CNN's Jake Tapper.

He ordered 'un cafe americain' between takes. (That's a black coffee in the US, or an americano in the UK.)

RT, the unreliable Russian-state backed cable news channel, was also there.

The whole place is incredibly moving.

Now see one of the most poignant stories from the Charlie Hebdo crisis ...

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