Lorient Celtic festival at the British Embassy

Jean Yves Elaudais, a piper from Brittany, played Scottish songs in the gardens of the embassy

Lord Llewellyn, British ambassador to France, seemed very happy during the reception he gave at his residence of Faubourg Saint Honoré, to celebrate Scotland as the official guest of Festival Interceltique de Lorient, the largest Celt celebration in the world, which takes place every year at the beginnning of August, in Brittany.Read More

Of the significance of jewels, at Musée d’Art Moderne

Evelyn Hofer, 1976, Anjelica Huston wearing “The Jealous Husband” necklace (ca 1940) designed by Alexander Calder

When Anne Dressen and Michèle Heuzé introduced their exhibition « Medusa, bijoux et tabous » at Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris, the different themes and political inuendos all seemed a little austere for contemporary jewelry but once inside the exhibition, I found some very funny items. Don’t go there with the idea of seeing precious stones or remarkables designs. Noodles, sweets and Swarowski crystal are more to the point. The underlying story is how jewelry affects our lives socially and whether it is an enemy to women? Read More

Germaine de Staël at full steam

Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun, portait of Germaine de Staël and her daughter Albertine

Thanks to my friend Christian de Pange who is a direct descendant of Madame de Staël through her daughter Albertine de Broglie, I could virtually visit the Fondation Martin Bodmer’s exhibition in Geneva. If you are not familiar with this beautiful museum set in Cologny on the lake, just imagine the greatest collection of 160 000 manuscripts, letters and old books set in a bunker-like gallery designed by Mario Botta, and collected by Martin Bodmer.  The Foundation is celebrating the Paris born, Swiss writer Germaine de Staël, daughter of Louis XVI th’s famous finance minister Jacques Necker,  who died exactly two hundred years ago on July 14 th.

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“The Testament of Mary” by Colm Toibin and Deborah Warner

Dominique Blanc is on stage for 80 mins directed by Deborah Warner and with  lighting by Jean Kalman

The reviews were so horrendous that I almost did not show up for the performance of Colm Toibin’s play “The Testament of Mary” at théâtre de l’Odéon. But I am a complete fan of British director Deborah Warner and was curious to see (on stage) Comédie française actress Dominique Blanc. The theme, Mary’s vision of her son Jesus Christ’s passion did not especially tempt me either. Yet the emotion is total and the new vision of Mary as a mother quite fascinating.Read More

Courson to Chantilly, a true success

Jean François Diriart, general manager, and Prince Amyn Aga Khan announcing the Prizes

Attending the Journées des plantes in Chantilly (formerly in Courson), twice a year in October and in May, could sound repetitive, but for me it is a renewed and awaited pleasure for I discover new gardners and new plants every time. Last week, the sun was shining, Prince Amyn Aga Khan was running around buying plants for his garden in Geneva and I fell in love with geraniums and a greenhouse that I would love to convert into an office.Read More

The new government, what a good surprise!

Prime minister Edouard Philippe is a writer and an amateur boxer

What a series of amazing surprises have happened this week in France with the nomination of 22 new ministers. Emmanuel Macron had promised many women and some experts. We got both. With Prime minister Edouard Phiippe at the helm, his town of Le Havre in Normandy is put forward. He is slick, wears the trendy beard and light navy blue suits that seem to be the uniform of his generation.  And he learnt live on TV that there is a boxing room at Matignon, his new residence.

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Claude Iverné, at Fondation Henri Cartier Bresson

Mnaïma Adjak / Peuple Shénabla / Clan Awasma / Dar Jawama / Kordofan Nord / August 2001© Claude Iverné – Elnour

The two floors of Fondation Cartier Bresson on Impasse Lebouis, were particularly vibrant for the opening of Claude Iverné’s « Bilad es Sudan » exhibition of photographs of North and South Sudan.Read More

“Etiquette at Versailles” by Daria Galateria

Daria Galateria is a university professor in Rome and writes for la Republica on French literature. She is standing here on her Rome terrace near the Pantheon

A specialist of Marcel Proust and 17 th century French litterature, Daria Galateria has always followed the French scene for Italian newspapers and her Sapienza university students. She shares her life between Saint German des Près in Paris, the Pantheon in central Rome and the city of Trappani where she writes and swims on the islands of Southern Sicily. Her latest book on “Etiquette at the court of Versailles” is just coming out in Paris.Read More