A Renaissance Under Blue Parisian Skies


The Reopening of the Grand Palais

A Renaissance Under Blue Parisian Skies

Parler Paris–your taste of life in Paris and France
/parlerparis/

Monday, September 19, 2005
Paris, France

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Dear Parler Paris Reader,

I remember the first time I entered the Grand Palais. It was in October of 1993 for the International Contemporary Art Fair (FIAC). The many-stories-high thumb sculpture by Cesar (that now sits at La Défense) was out front marking the entrance. The interior of the building was more impressive than the art inside. The voluminous metal and glass roof drew your eyes up, up and beyond while the creative works below were vying for attention rather desperately.

Built for the World Fair of 1855 and inspired by the Crystal Palace in London, during World War II, the Grand Palais was bombarded then transformed into a truck depot. In 1962, André Malraux created the National Galeries of the Grand Palais in the northern section of the building — installed an architectural school, a faculty of arts and sciences and the Regional Direction of Cultural Affairs for the Ile de France. It was closed the month just after the FIAC I attended in November of 1993 following the drop of a rivet on from the framework of the nave 35 meters high and in November of 2000, it was classified as an Historical Monument.

Renovation to the massive structure began in October of 2001 and has involved 1,500 workers. A new foundation was laid consisting of 3,400 pilings made of oak (replacing 152 original pilings made of pine). The metal frames of the nave weigh 9,000 tons compared to the 12,000 at the Musée d’Orsay (once the Gare d’Orléans) and 7,000 at the Eiffel Tower.

The first phase of renovation was completed for a glorious reopening during Les Journées du Patrimoine this past Saturday. Thousands of visitors flowed through its doors to witness its renaissance under bright and sunny skies. Ethereal music filled the billowing space and set the surrealistic mood. Hanging under mirrored panels in the center (so all sides are visible) are two globes created by Franciscan Monk Vincenzo Coronelli, commissioned by Cardinal d’Estrées, an ambassador of Louis XIV, between 1681 and 1683. They are the largest of their kind, measuring 4.87 meters in diameter and considered to be the most beautiful ever created. One represents the earth, the other outer space (“Terrestre et Céleste”). The spheres will eventually make their way to the West Hall of the Bibliotèque Nationale François-Mitterand planned for 2006.

There were more than 2500 monuments and sites open during the two days of Les Journées du Patrimoine all over France. At the temporary “librairie” in one corner of the Grand Palais, I purchased a tome titled “Le Guide du Patrimoine en France” listing all 2500 of them. I didn’t manage to make them all on Sunday afternoon, but to visit even a small portion of them will make for a lifetime of pleasure.

A la prochaine…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris
Email [email protected]

P.S. This year’s FIAC (the 32nd) will take place October 6 to 10 at the Paris Exhibition Center, Porte de Versailles, in halls 4 and 5.1. Some 207 galleries (almost a quarter of them are new to FIAC) will exhibit, with 26 countries represented by 113 foreign galleries, 99 of which are from France. For more information, visit http://www.fiacparis.com

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======== Inside This Week’s =======
====== French Property Insider ======

* Francois’ Follies PART I
By David Downie
Excerpt from “Paris, Paris: Journey into the City of Light”
http://www.parisparisthebook.com

“The idea that Paris in a century or two could become the privileged enclave of Japanese tour operators is a thought that makes Mitterrand bristle.” Luc Tessier, director of the Coordinating Body of Les Grands Projets, 1988…Subscribers Read On…

Learn how to buy property in France. French Property Insider is an e mail newsletter from the editors of Parler Paris. If you’d like to learn about the insights, recommendations, and discoveries about
buying and investing in real estate in Paris and France that French Property Insider readers get every week, now’s a special opportunity.

SPECIAL OFFER: FREE RESTAURANT GUIDE WITH YOUR SUBSCRIPTION

When you subscribe to French Property Insider all this month, you’ll get the new updated edition of The Insider Paris Guide for Good Value Restaurants ABSOLUTELY FREE!

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=========Further Resources===========

* The 4TH EDITION OF THE PARIS POETRY WORKSHOP with Cecilia Woloch is now taking registrations. With a limited attendance of 15, I suggest you book now! See /parlerparis/poetry/parisoctober2005.html for more information.

* You are invited to attend the THE ART OF TROMPE L’OEIL WORKSHOP here in Paris December 29 – January 2 with internationally renowned trompe l’oeil muralist and educator, Yves Lanthier! For more information, visit http://www.paintwithyves.com/

* Moving to Paris? The Insider Guide to Practical Answers for Living in France is a must! Packed with almost 300 questions from real people, for real people…and the practical answers that will save you countless hours of frustration.

======= CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING =====

==APARTMENT RENTAL==

Leeds Marais Apartment
Available in its entirety October 19 – 31, 2005 and November 22 – 28, 2005

Located in a 17th century Le Marais Hotel Particulier, this 70 square
meter two-bedroom apartment with lots of light is nicely furnished and
is perfect for up to four people when rented in its entirety or a
single woman in the freshly renovated guest room when owner Adrian
Leeds is there.

Pictures and more details available at
/parlerparis/apartments/rentals/leeds.html

==APARTMENT RENTAL==

For all short term rental apartments in Paris, take a look at
/parlerparis/apartments or
/frenchproperty/insider/longterm.html for long term
apartments.

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Copyright 2006, Adr

ian Leeds®
Adrian Leeds Group, LLC, /

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