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“Paris Moves, Paris Creates, Paris Loves You!”

All over town, you’ll see posters, signs and banners of a woman silhouetted in a deep burgundy against a golden background. In the palm of her hand, she holds the Eiffel Tower, sparkling, and on her chest is written: “Paris Bouge, Paris Crée, Paris Vous Aime” — That’s the theme of this week’s city-wide campaign: “Paris — Capitale de la Création!”

Yesterday in a press conference at the Hôtel de Ville, the three principal players, Jean-Bernard Bros, Assistant in Charge of Tourism, Lyne Cohen-Solal, Assistant in Charge of Commerce, Crafts, Freelance Professionals and the Arts and Christophe Girard, Assistant in Charge of Culture, announced the week’s events and the city’s objectives to
give Paris once again its dominating place in the world as the capital of fashion (its rightful inheritance!) and to gain shares of the visitor market in this sector in particular and the segment of the trade show industry in general.

Bertrand Delanoë, Mayor of Paris, places his comments on the campaign:
“Setting the city in motion, highlighting its vitality and its creativity, encouraging both established and up-and-coming talents: for the second year running, “Paris Capitale de la Création” brings together fashion, decoration and design trade shows, to further support and promote the creation industries.”

Beginning Friday and through January 27th, creators, interior designers, fashion designers, photographers, illustrators, editors and more of Paris’ best creative talent invite the public to celebrate with them during a variety of events, exhibitions, art shows, installations and creation in all its forms to be enjoyed and as the French put it — “savored without moderation!”

There are nine trade shows in Paris to take part in January 23 – 26/27 and another eight coming through the month of July. There are events taking place sponsored by ten “mairies” (city halls) and there are another 200 events taking place in various spots around the city, all in the interest of promoting creativity and the design industries. The choices are endless! And Friday night is a formal Gala Celebration in the salons of the Hôtel de Ville (by invitation only — Lord, what will I wear!?).

So, what struck me most as I listened to the city’s leaders talking about their support of the creative industries and how Paris should regain it’s dominating place as the pinnacle of creativity? I considered the sheer contrasts within the culture. This culture teaches appreciation of the arts to its youth in its schools (field trips to museums are the norm and the French are the first in line at every exhibition, concert and cultural event), but rarely how to master the arts (education is focused on academics, particularly math and science with virtually no allowance for creative writing, painting or sports) until they are older and can strike out in expression for themselves.

From the moment my daughter entered a French school and stopped bringing home stacks of drawings, paintings, molded clay figures and essays as she once did while attending a California public school, I wondered how a society so focused on left-brain activities could produce so many right-brain successes…and I think I have a plausible answer: the really creative kids rebelled…and excelled — Philippe Starck and Jean-Paul Gautier, for example. And when I search on, it concludes that the French excel on other levels, too…

Most admired: Marie Antoinette, j2999eph Guillotin
Favorite great leader(s): Louis the XVI, Napoleon, Robespierre
Favorite Interest(s): French
Favorite royal(s): Antoinette of France
Favorite philosopher(s): Voltaire
Favorite political figure(s): Robespierre, Charles Talleyrand…

and Favorite destination(s): PARIS, FRANCE

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris
E-mail: [email protected]

P.S. A complete outline of all the events and the program in general can be found at in both French and English. Brochures outlining the events can also be picked up at any Mairie.


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