It is one of the oldest bookshops in the capital of Gaul and it could disappear. The Diogène bookshop, opened on rue Saint-Jean in the Vieux Lyon district (Rhône), almost fifty years ago, has been the subject of an eviction procedure since the building, of which it is a tenant, was bought by a group of investors from Lyon. In this very touristy shopping street, Diogenes is an institution. His departure worries the inhabitants, who are already more than 32,000 to have signed the online petition launched to support the owners of the place.
“We were very touched by the marks of sympathy received,” confides Gaynor Nicoud, one of the three associates with Claire Dulac and Laurent Dubœuf. “The real singularity of Diogenes is the diversity of the works on offer. With its stock of second-hand books, it is one of the most important independent bookshops in the region and even in France. »
No amicable agreement found
It houses 80,000 books spanning 500 years of history, spread over an area of 250 square meters. But the new owner of the building in which it is installed does not want it. “In 2019, he told us that our leases were not being renewed. In return, he must pay us eviction compensation,” explains Gaynor Nicoud.
For the time being, no amicable agreement has been reached and legal proceedings have been initiated. “If it comes to an end, we will have three months to move. Finding a new location, carrying out the work and moving the books in such a short time is impossible,” warn the owners of the Diogène bookstore, who want to stay in Vieux Lyon, but are faced with soaring rents.
“People in the neighborhood are disgusted, saddened to see us leave,” says Gaynor Nicoud. “It’s difficult to run a business under these conditions. But we have to stay positive and find a way to bounce back. »