...Continued from page 1

We Need a Revolution!

This is Le Parisien's odd headline over a story in Friday's editions about Versailles plea for two billion francs to fix itself up like Sculpture by Agustin Cardenas / Ville de Paris expo the other 'grand' projects have done for the Louvre and the Very Grand Bibliothèque.

Versailles seems to consider its main rival to be the Louvre, but aside from the unlikely idea of moving Versailles to downtown Paris, I do not think it will get two billion in the near future, even if it is for a 'grand' project stretching over ten years.

At right, one of Agustin Cardenas' sculptures, on display at the Convent des Cordeliers, 15. rue de l'Ecole, Paris 6. On view until 31. August daily except Mondays. Photo by Aurelio Amendola.

The château gets about 3.2 million visitors a year and another six to eight million visit the park, which doesn't seem too shabby to me. A little bit of renovation goes on there all the time and new attractions are announced periodically. I think Versailles' main problem is that it is not a replica, and it doesn't lend itself to the installation of hotels in the park or have room for golf courses like Disneyland has.

And, Disneyland got its TGV station, which is part of a nice loop around east Paris. Versailles is stuck with its old lines from the earliest railroad days; although I haven't heard any recent complaints about the RER line 'C' which used to be notoriously unreliable. With Montparnasse running TGV's out to the southwest full blast, I don't think any of the rail gang has Versailles in mind as a possible destination

Versailles should forget the 'grand' Louvre and start to worry about Fontainebleau, whose mayor has just announced building a - guess! - pyramid right in front of the château.

Write Home If You Get Work

Visiting Paris and missing your online fix? Wander over to the The Web Bar, a cybercafe third arrondissement and pay a visit to the Web Bar where you can go online to send or receive eMail, surf the Net, have a pie and a drink. The online business costs 40 francs per hour; but it is hardly the only activity available - there's a gallery, cinema, theatre, and of course, a bar-café. Located in an old factory, the address is 32, rue de Picardie, right beside the Marché Carreaux du Temple. Métro stop: either Temple or République.

Other News

Is mostly about paying more taxes, including a withdrawal of the reduction expected for the last payment for 1996. This will give people something to talk about in September when they are paying for the 'return-to-school' at the same time.

Sports News is Sort of Off Again

Pétanque

The world championships may still be under way in Marseilles, according to Wednesday's Le Parisien. The paper is quite lyrical about how the contestants loft the boules; but neglects to give the score. Maybe they play until it gets cold or until the pastis runs out.

La 84e Edition de la Tour de France

Radio France-Info is following this modest sporting event with minute-by-minute coverage, so I can't stand it anymore. I think the Web site is supplied by L'Equipe, France's sports daily, so if you want details on the race this is the place to get it.

If this year's Tour de France interests you, there is a full-service Web site in French as well as in English, which contains far more information than you could hope to ask for - unless you are a 'true' fan, of course.


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