Razing the Cannes festival "Bunker"?

By the Associated Press | May 14, 2014 | 7:35 AM EDT

Workers prepare the red carpet on the stairs of the Palais des Festivals prior to the start of the 67th international film festival, Cannes, southern France on Wednesday, May 14, 2014. The festival runs from May 14th to May 25th. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)


The eyes of Italian film icon Marcello Mastroianni stare out cooly behind sunglasses on the huge poster across the Cannes Film Festival's sprawling 1970s-style building. But if the event's outgoing president had his wish, it would be plastered on a different structure.

Gilles Jacob has stirred controversy by calling the red-carpeted, white retro complex — which has been hosting the festival for four dazzling decades — anything but "cool."

Speaking to local media this week, Jacob called the 1979 behemoth "ill-adapted" and too dated for the needs of the world's most glamorous film festival, and suggested that the "bunker" be razed.

He proposed a more modern building to secure the prestige of the festival, which has witnessed over 67 years of cinema's most famous stars.

"We're therefore asking for a Grand Palace to be built ... that's befitting of the world's No. 1 cultural event," said Jacob.

Not everyone agrees with his assessment. Cannes' mayor, David Lisnard, has defended the festival hall, saying it's fit for its purpose and will stay put. The city has the final say on its fate.

— THOMAS ADAMSON, AP Writer (Twitter: @ThomasAdamsonAP)