Who’s who this week? A very young golfer, a diplomat and an artist

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19 year old Valentine Delon on the 18 th hole of the Sanglier course in Lyon

Three wonderful news this week in the Parisian world: Gérard Araud, 71,  former French ambassador to Washington, has been elected President of the powerful association of Les Amis du Louvre, Valentine Delon, 19, and a sophomore at Virginia Tech, has won the French amateur Ladies championship in Lyon. And Eva Jospin is exhibiting her 107 m long embroidered fresco in the Orangerie of Versailles. These three good surprises will help us get through the French elections which only bring out the worst in every party. Fights, jealousy and ultras…

Valentine Delon (right) beats Camille Min-Gaultier 1 up,  after 36 holes and 7, 5 hours of game

When she won the golf Championship at Morfontaine at 15, I compared her to Lally Vagliano who had won the British Girls Championship at 16 in 1937… Valentine Delon, whose father Antoine Delon is captain of the French men’s amateur team, qualified sixth on Friday. After a 5 & 4 quarterfinal win and 6 & 5 semi final win on Saturday, the +3,6 index player had 12 birdies on Sunday morning on the first 18 holes. She ended up playing 10 under par on the 36 holes and won 1 up. Her opponent was Camille Min-Gaultier, who plays at Valcros (between Toulon and St Tropez) and won the Italian International championship two months ago, with an index of +5,7. What a great promise for French golf! Especially since Matthieu Pavon finished fifth in the US Open this week end…

Gérard Araud was elected President of Les Amis du Louvre

Since Louis Antoine Prat had announced last January that he would not run for an third mandate, a few names were being mentioned as possible President of the powerful association of 60 000 members which distributes millions for new acquisitions to the Louvre every year. And the profile of a senior diplomat with great negotiation skills and a long relationship with Laurence des Cars, came out as favorite. Gérard Araud promised in his letter to the members to be “an agent of compromise” “who will consult with the members” and to use his experience with the media to enlarge the audience of the Association. His experience in Wahington led him to be in contact with the very important FRAME  (French American Museum Exchange) founded by Elizabeth Rohatyn when her husband was American ambassador to France. It includes 32 museums in America and in France and organizes joint exhibitions. This is his only training in the Arts but he has written a few books on diplomacy and has managerial qualities that will certainly help run the board. On June 26, the Louvre inaugurates an exhibition of the Masterpieces of the Torlonia collection in the apartments of Anne d’Autriche. Entrance is free and without queuing for all Members.

Bust of Septimus Severus in the collection Torlonia

The third good news is the exhibition of “La Chambre de soie” (the Silk room), an embroidered fresco which runs along the walls of the Orangerie in Versailles. The author, Eva Jospin, who usually works with cardboard, was inspired by Galerie Colonna’s embroidery collection in Rome while studying at the Villa Medici. Catherine Pégard, former President of Versailles, met her there and followed the creation of this gigantic work, commissioned by Dior for one of its fashion shows in 2021,  and enlarged for Versailles with a 10 m long piece devoted to the garden and bosquets and their fountains.

A pigeon is enjoying the Orangerie and its 107 m long embroidery by Eva Jospin

Since a superb exhibition on horses “Cheval en majesté au coeur d’une civilisation” (Horses in majesty at the heart of a civilization) opens on July 2 in the castle, I suggest that you visit both shows a the same time. The drive to Versailles is longer than usual because of major works being done in the tunnel de Saint Cloud. Eva Jospin is at the Orangerie  until September 29 and Horses in Majesty until November 3 in the castle.

A fountain inspired by the park of Versailles was embroidered in Mumbai at the Chanakya workshop with 400 different nuances of silk, cotton and linen

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