(Paris) The separation of church and state is ironclad state doctrine in France. It means that there is no place for religion in the public sphere. This goes so far that crosses are removed from signs.
The corresponding State law has applied already for 110 years.The Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens (RATP) shows particular zeal in this. It is the state-owned enterprise, which is responsible for public transport in Paris. The RATP operates the Paris metro lines, trams and buses, rapid transit routes and the funicular to Montmartre.
Last spring, RATP was willing to accept advertising for a benefit concert of "Les Prêtres" in favor of the persecuted Christians in the Middle East only after protests.The image of Catholic priests was a nuisance to the corporate director. Last summer, the sign of Sacre Coeur Basilica on the RATP had the crosses removed from its domes and towers.
At the metro station Anvers, which is the closest to Montmartre, signs with the stylized silhouette of the famous Sacred Heart Church appear and passengers can get out there when they want to visit Montmartre. Neither the principal dome nor the side domes or the facade towers show a cross.
Stylizations minimize the details. The crosses would but increase the recognizability in the particular case. Above all, are the crosses are the central component of the object being advertised. But Christian symbols are a problem for the RATP.