Villers Cotterêts, the new citadel of the French language, is open

parisdiaArchitecture, Art, Books, History, Technique3 Comments

I was totally excited to finally get to Villers Cotterêts after a series of mini disasters (the opening visit was cancelled) and an hour and a quarter of driving from Paris. The small town of 10 000 inhabitants,  is pretty dreary and the castle which houses the new Cité Internationale de la Langue française stands out like a meringue among … Read More

Cristal is a feast at Musée de Cluny

parisdiaArt, History2 Comments

There is something magical about visiting Musée de Cluny, where seeing the tapestry of the “Lady and the Unicorn” is a unique experience. The museum has been refurbished eighteen months ago and has gained in luminosity and attractiveness. The exhbiiton “Travel through Cristal” (until January 14) is a precious addition to the permanent collection. Considered as a rare stone until … Read More

A Lebanese writer leads the French Academy, tapestries at auction, Irving Penn photographs and more…

parisdiaArt, Auction, History, Movies, Photography3 Comments

When the Perpetual secretary of the French Academy, Hélène Carrère d’Encausse, died on August 5, at 94, the institution which is in charge of writing the dictionary and defending our language, was suddenly abandoned. This amazing woman, born in France, from parents who had  emigrated to France, after the Russian Revolution, became one of the foremost Historians in France: she … Read More

In Ottoman Salonika, Jews reigned…

parisdiaHistory, Photography4 Comments

This exhibition on Jews in Salonika at the beginning of the XX th century is the story of a passionate collector who travelled to Turkey for his fashion business and started buying documentary photographs of the Ottoman world. After his famous company Anastasia went bust in the 1980’s, Pierre de Gigord sold his collection to the Getty Museum but they … Read More

At Memorial de la Shoah, music is the new theme

parisdiaHistory1 Comment

Music in nazis camps was instrumental in many ways and this small exhibition at Memorial de la Shoah, in the Marais, tells its story and  is incredibly moving. To see musical instruments manufactured in the camps and surviving scores makes you shiver. “The marches of popular songs …lie engraved in our minds and will be the last thing in the … Read More

London, the Coronation and more…

parisdiaHistory9 Comments

When I arrived at King’s Cross and waited for the tube, King Charles’s voice suddenly could be heard wishing us a good journey and “please mind the gap “. It was so unreal! We had already been offered horrible paper yellow crowns while boarding the Eurostar in Paris and a delightful young Finnish girl had offered me a sweet in … Read More

La Chapelle Expiatoire celebrates Louis XVI th’s surviving daughter

parisdiaArchitecture, Art, History3 Comments

La Chapelle Expiatoire is a discreet little chapel built by Louis XVIII in 1815, on the former Madeleine Cemetery, in memory of his brother Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, who were buried there after their heads were chopped off on place de la Concorde.  Their bodies were then transported to the St Denis basilica and the monument finished under Charles X’s … Read More

The tragedy of Izieu is illustrated at MahJ

parisdiaHistory1 Comment

“You will remember me” words and drawings of the children of Izieu“, 1943-1944, is a fascinating illustration of how innocent Jewish children and loving surrogate parents died or survived (85%) during the war in France. At MahJ, Musée d’art et d’histoire du Judaïsme, 150 photographs, drawings and documents illustrate the adventure led by Sabin and Miron Zlatin, a Polish Russian … Read More