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Jane Birkin Paris Funeral Draws Celebrities and Crowds

Thousands of fans have lined streets in central Paris to say farewell to English-French star Jane Birkin.

The funeral was attended by numerous celebrities, and was live-streamed to crowds outside the Saint Roch church.

People held posters and wore T-shirts declaring their love for the star.

Though born in England, Birkin earned her status after successful film roles and songs, as well as being the inspiration for the iconic Hermès Birkin designer bag.

She was known for her personal and artistic relationship with French songwriter Serge Gainsbourg.

In 1969 Birkin recorded with him the iconic track “Je T’aime… moi non plus”, banned in several countries and condemned by the Vatican because of its overtly sexual lyrics.

With her flared jeans, mini dresses and distinctive fringe, she also became a fashion icon in the 1970s.

She died last week at her home in the French capital at the age of 76.

Singer Vanessa Paradis was at the funeral, as well as screen legends Catherine Deneuve, Isabelle Huppert and Charlotte Rampling, another British actress who regularly stars in French-language movies.

French First Lady Brigitte Macron was also in attendance, along with Birkin’s surviving daughters Charlotte Gainsbourg and Lou Doillon, themselves well known as singers and actors.

“I already feel the emptiness she has left behind,” an emotional Gainsbourg told attendees.

“Mother, thank you for not being ordinary and reasonable,” said Doillon.

The square in front of the church was strewn with flowers, a testament to the affection with which Birkin is held in France.

People held banners saying “Jane Forever” and “Thank you Jane Birkin”, and her songs were played through speakers to the crowds.

Many of the well-wishers were emotional. Marie-Pierre Frapart, 63, told AFP she had “come to pay tribute to our little Englishwoman”.

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