>> They've been painting the tourists for decades. Pablo Picasso was once among their number. But the street artists of Paris's Montmartre neighborhood might be about to go on strike. The painters are threatening to up easels and relocate elsewhere in the French capital. They have accused restaurateurs of encroaching, a new rule gives the eateries 80% of the sidewalk space.
Last month, the artists downed brushes and protested in front of the local town hall.>> We are in one square meter and that's not enough for a painter. The legs of our easels overlap, the umbrellas bother neighboring artists when it rains. We get wet, our neighbors get wet.
So it's not possible.>> Other painters said the council was ignoring their concerns in pursuit of profiting from the restaurant trade.>> We are 300 artists sitting in the gutter all year to attract millions of tourists so that these ladies and gentleman and the local economy can prosper on our backs.
>> The street artists have been a center point of this neighborhood since the 19th century. Montmartre's loss could be another district's gain.