One-legged Australian woman Roya Hosini denied entry to Paris' Eiffel Tower and Catacombs because of disability

A one-legged Australian woman said she has "never felt more disabled" than when she was denied access to two iconic Paris attractions.

Roya Hosini, whose stage name is Roya the Destroya, travels the world as a circus artist, dancer, coach, presenter and choreographer.

But while she regularly breakdances and performs handstands in theatre production FRONTX in Brussells, where she is now based, she's been turned away from Paris' Eiffel Tower and Catacombs because of her disability.

Last year, guards barred her from visiting the top level of the Eiffel Tower, even though she'd bought tickets with her crutches on display.

"Thank you for judging and assuming every human being who is disabled is 100 per cent restricted and can't go downstairs in case of emergency," she said in a social media post at the time.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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When a security guard told her to "be nicer", she said "'how do you think I feel?'.. at which point he zipped his mouth and then apologised".

She had a similar experience at the French capital's Catacombs this month, where she was told that allowing her access would be like "having someone blind fly a plane".

"Now it's the catacombs denying me entry basically due to being "handicapped"," she said in a recent post.

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The Catacombs are a network of underground tunnels which hold the remains of more than six million people.

A distance of 1.5 kilometres is covered during the 45-minute tour. There are 130 steps to go down and 83 to return to street level.

The attraction says on its website that the Catacombs are "not accessible for persons with reduced mobility", but Hosini thinks the rules need to change.

Hosini said she asked security guards at the Catacombs to speak to their manager and, after being passed to him on the phone, was hung up on.

"After handing back the worker's phone, he then walked away from me," she said. ""It's like having someone blind fly a plane, it's just not safe for the others', one gentleman said... Wow! 'You could slip and fall', another gentleman said. So can everyone."

Hosini said she asked the guards for their names, the name of their boss and contact details, but they refused to supply them.

"I've never felt more disabled in my life than these type of moments. All due to legalities and a small phrase or clause written on a piece of paper."

A spokesperson for the Catacombs described Hosini's treatment as "an unfortunate event that we deplore.

"We do not tolerate this kind of behaviour; on the contrary, we try to welcome everybody in our sites," the spokesperson told the ABC.

Stuff.co.nz

See also: How Australians can stay in Europe (almost) indefinitely, visa-free

See also: Twenty things that will surprise first-time visitors to France

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