Cannes Festival Palais Transformed Into Homeless Shelter During Coronavirus Crisis

Valery Hache_AFP via Getty Images
Cannes' Palais des Festivals on March 25, 2020 as France is under lockdown orders

Up to 80 homeless people will be given clean hygienic quarters, food and medical attention in the requisitioned headquarters of the Cannes Film Festival and film market.

Cannes' Palais des Festivals, the location that has seen thousands of red carpet galas, is now a homeless shelter.

This year's Cannes Film Festival has been postponed due to the novel coronavirus outbreak and the city of Cannes has requisitioned the Palais building to use as a makeshift center for the homeless.

Cannes Mayor David Lisnard said the measure was needed to protect both the homeless and the entire population from the spread of the coronavirus, which has resulted in close to 2,000 deaths in France to date.

The city has set up beds and a canteen on the ground floor of the Palais, where the Cannes film market takes place during the festival. There is space for up to 80 people with medical services also provided. Cannes is already putting up the oldest and those among the homeless community deemed most vulnerable to the coronavirus in hotels. Homeless women, which make up a minority, are housed in another shelter in the city.

The Cannes Film Festival, which was scheduled to run May 12-23, has been postponed due to a nationwide lockdown imposed to stem the spread of COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus.

On Friday, French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe extended the lockdown for a further two weeks, meaning France will be shuttered until at least April 15.

Until then Cannes' homeless will, at the very least, have a roof over their heads.