Traders at the celebrated Marché fringes of Paris this weekend staged protests against their landlord, the Duke of Westminster. The Independent

Two of the sections of the maze of shops and stalls, which claims to be the largest antique market in the world, the Serpette and the Paul-Bert, were bought two years ago by Grosvenor.

The traders say Grosvenor Continental Europe is trying to increase rents by 35%-70% and some are being offered cash to move away. The stallholders accuse Grosvenor of wanting to turn parts of the market into a series of glittering antique shops dealing only with the super-rich.

Jacques Fay, Grosvenor Continental Europe director, said: ‘There is a great disparity of rental rates between traders. We don't think this is fair and are trying to balance them, if necessary by threatening not to renew leases.’