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Built almost a century ago, the art-deco Piscine Molitor in the 16th district of Paris is no ordinary swimming pool. It was here the first bikini was unveiled and the topless sunbathing revolution took off, and it is after this swimming pool that the main character in the 2001 novel Life of Pi was named.
In its heyday, between the world wars, Molitor was the most fashionable place to be seen. By 1989, however, this French icon was slated to be destroyed and replaced with apartments. The project never actually saw daylight, but Molitor was closed down anyway and instead became a hallowed space for Parisian subculture, adorned by graffiti artists and ravers alike.
Now, 25 years on, Molitor’s indoor pool and lido complex has been given another life, reopening on Monday as part of a luxury hotel and spa. The 50-metre lido and 33-metre indoor pool have been completely renovated, with the indoor pool remaining the heart of this unique construction.