long lines in front of louvre museum
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French President Emmanuel Macron looked to cement his legacy, and take on political opponents, with the inauguration on Monday of a monument to the French language deep in far-right heartland.

Macron used the occasion to wade into a culture war debate, backing a conservative bill to ban the use of "inclusive language" — a popular trend for using both masculine and feminine versions of words when writing.

France must "not give in to fashionable trends," he said as he inaugurated the Cite Internationale de la Langue Francaise just hours before the Senate was due to debate the proposed law.

Modern French presidents love a cultural "grand projet" — an imposing monument to "scratch" their name on history, as ex-leader Francois Mitterrand put it in the 1980s.

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