France's 'yellow vest' protesters banned from Notre-Dame: police

Yellow vest protesters in front of Notre Dame cathedral in January (AFP Photo/ERIC FEFERBERG)

Paris (AFP) - For their 23rd consecutive Saturday protest, France's yellow vests have been told they will be banned from the area around Paris's fire-damaged Notre-Dame cathedral.

The ban will be in place all day Saturday, a police statement said, following Monday's devastating fire at the world famous landmark.

"No protest demonstration can be held" in the area due to the fragility of the building, the statement said.

The yellow vest protesters, who have been holding weekly Saturday demonstrations to highlight social inequality since mid-November, will also be banned from the Champs-Elysees avenue and the area around the presidential Elysee Palace.

The size of many of the donations pledged to restore Notre-Dame has attracted criticism in some quarters.

"In one click, 200 million, 100 million. That shows the inequality which we regularly denounce in this country," the head of the CGT trade union, Philippe Martinez, said on Wednesday.

Yellow vest demonstrations have frequently ended in rioting and looting in Paris and other big cities throughout France.