France agreed Tuesday to work with Google to digitally scan French library books but insisted it would not surrender legal control of its cultural heritage to the US Internet giant.

Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand said he would approach Google to discuss their involvement while also pressing on with France's own digitisation efforts.

He approved an experts' report published Tuesday which proposed a "partnership" with Google and its online library Google Books.

"We are going to propose to Google... an exchange of documents, without exclusivity, in a transparent way and with respect for the authors," the minister was quoted as saying by Le Monde newspaper.

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