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Last Updated: Friday, 26 October 2007, 10:54 GMT 11:54 UK
Final Potter book reaches France
Harry Potter fans in Paris
Potter fans in Paris queued to get their hands on the French edition
The last Harry Potter book has finally been released in France, with publishers still trying to keep the plot under wraps.

Special lead seals were put on trucks as one million copies of The Deathly Hallows were delivered across the country, the AFP news agency reported.

About 500 people queued outside a book shop in Paris, but many admitted they had already read the English version.

The teenage wizard's seventh adventure was published in English on 21 July.

More than 25 million copies of the English version have already been sold around the world.

French publisher Gallimard has ordered a total of 2.3 million copies of Harry Potter et les Reliques de la Mort.

Fancy dress

Jean-Francois Menard spent 12 to 15 hours a day from 21 July until 15 September producing the official translation.

He has worked on all seven Potter books, changing Hogwarts school to "Poudlard" because the English version was hard to say and thinking up other French-friendly magic expressions.

The Virgin store on the Champs Elysee, in Paris, stayed open until 0130 for the launch, encouraging fans to dress up as characters from the Harry Potter books.

In Switzerland, the first French copies were delivered by post because authorities refused to ease restrictions on shop opening hours so that stores could stage a midnight launch.

The book's German language version, Harry Potter und die Heiligtuemer des Todes, will go on sale just after midnight on Saturday.

Publishers Carlsen have printed three million copies - one million more than for the launch of the previous book.

The Potter books have been translated into 64 languages in all with more than 350 million copies sold.

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