French Bid to Break World Kissing Record Falls Short

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Is the French kiss falling short of its reputation?

Just 1,188 kissers showed up in Paris on Thursday to try to break the record for the most people kissing in one spot at a single moment, Guinness World Records said. They failed to break Budapest's 2005 record for 11,570 people.

The chosen spot this year was not the Eiffel Tower, but the lesser known — and less inspiring — La Defense, a modern business park on the west edge of Paris.

Romantics were undeterred by the small turnout and sought to preserve Paris' reputation.

"Paris is known for romance," said Celine Capet, a 24-year-old student. "It's not a record for, say, the United States to hold — they don't even give kisses on the cheek. And for us, that's what we do every day."

The event in Paris was part of the a record-breaking effort organized by Guinness World Records, which has staged events from the Americas to Asia, including the world's biggest chess game in Mexico, the largest underwater news conference in Canada, and a record for the most kites flown simultaneously in China.