1999's Big Expos Have Begun

photo: entry college de france

The entry to the Collège de France can be passed by all.

Paris' Free School: the Collège de France

Paris:- Saturday, 6. February 1999:- Finding the Collège de France yesterday was another one of those 'wandering around' accidents. Accidently going up the Rue Thénard put me face-to-face with the Place Marcellin-Berethlot and the college behind it.

On the place of two earlier colleges, the present Collège de France was built, starting in 1611. Construction proceeded slowly, and visitors were surprised to find a construction shack for such an illustrious institution, until it was finished in 1778. Yesterday it looked brand-new.

This 'Collège Royal' was founded on 24. March, 1529, by François 1st, under the name 'Collège des Trois-Langues;' and they were Latin, Hebrew and Greek. The royal students paid 200 écus of gold per year, and lived in the college.

Charles IX added a chair of surgery, Henri III added Arabic, Henri IV addedposter: movie, fleuve d'or anatomy and botany, Louis XIII added canonic law and Louis XIV put Syrian on the curriculum. At the time of the revolution, there were 20 chairs. Afterwards, the college became 'Royal' and then, 'Imperial.'

This college has two peculiarities. The Collège de France does not depend on the university and is under the direct control of the current Minister of Education. And - its courses are free of charge and open to anybody.

'Professors' are elected by the college's 52 professors from a wide range of scholars, who do not have to have any particular qualifications. There are no examinations and no diplomas are awarded. About 5,000 'students' attend the free lectures each year.

If most courses hadn't already started on 6. January, you could have chosen 'Histoire des Syncrétismes de la Fin de l'Antiquité,' given by Professor Michel Tardieu, on Wednesdays in the Salle 2.

Collège de France, 12. Place Marcellin-Berethlot, Paris 5. Info. Tel.: 01 44 27 12 11, or fax.: 33 1 44 27 11 09. There is also a Web site for the college, but I have not been able to access it.

It's Carnival Time! - for aposters: carnival, twice town which has no 'official' carnival, there is a lot of it around. Parisians, like you, like me, just wanna have fun! Next weekend it starts, then there's some more on Tuesday, 16. February for Mardi Gras, and the last blast of it is on Saturday, 20. February.

The Divan du Monde is charging 100 francs for entry if you get tickets from fnac or Virgin; 120 francs at the door. There's lots of other carnival places too. Divan du Monde, 75. Rue des Martyrs, Paris 18. Métro: Pigalle. Info. Tel.: 01 40 25 47 31.

Overlooked Film Site(s) - last week's feature about films in Paris omitted a mention of the city's other film library, which is located at the Centre André-Malraux. This one has mostly books and magazines, but also has a collection of 300 videos. I believe it will all be moved to the one-time Maison des Associations at the Forum des Halles. But until then it is at 78. Boulevard Raspail, Paris 6. Open from Tuesday to Friday; from 14:00 to 18:00 or 19:00. Info. Tel.: 01 45 44 53 85.

La Cinémathèqye Française - was burned out of the Palais de Chaillot and its museum has been closed since then. However, there is a cinema with the same name and part of the same 23,000-title film collection, located on the Boulevard Poissonnière, Paris 9. I do not have its exact address, but I have seen it there. This museum will eventually join - with the BiFi - the Maison du Cinéma in the 12th arrondissement. Info. Tel.: 01 56 26 01 01.

Oskar Kokoschka, 1906 - 1931 - North-Central Europe's master of the modern - no friend of Adolf Hilter, a failed fellow-Austrian - hmm, well, Oskar was IT! Oskar's times were tough and he painted them tougher. See this show. At the Musée-Galerie de la Seita, 12. Rue Surcouf, Paris 7. Métro: Invalides. Closed Mondays and holidays; open from 11:00 to 19:00. Entry: 25 francs. Info. Tel.: 01 45 56 60 17.

Retromobile '99 - starts next Friday. This year the main features will be the custom cars of famous people such as a Pope, a dictator, a writer, a military governor and the liberator of the governed. Citroën will be celebrating 80 years of existence and there will also be 50th anniversary of the Formula One Grand Prix. Matra, also will be having its 30th anniversary.

The dates for this year's edition are Friday, 12. February until Sunday, 21. February. The event takes place at Paris Expo, Porte de Versailles, and will be in the Hall 2/1 like last year. If old boats are your bag, 'Retro-Nautique,' featuring Horace Dodge's 'cigar' racer, concocted by Harry Miller. The retro-boat show takes place at the same time, in the same place.

Un Ami de Cézanne et Van Gogh; le Docteur Gachet - the poster all over Paris features the Van Gogh portrait of the good Dr. Gachet, with whom Van Gogh stayed for the last 70 days of his life, at Auvers-sur-Oise.

Dr. Paul Gachet was probably the first 'fan' of the Impressionists. He urged Pissarro to organize sales of the 'co-operative' members paintings, to aid Daumier. Dr. Gachet suggested offering the paintings ofposter: beart at bobino Manet, Monet, Sisley, Piette, Gautier, Degas, Guillaumin, Cézanne... the whole co-operative. Before the first show of the 'Impressionists,' some of them were nearly starving; and Daumier was nearly blind as well.

Dr. Gachet tried to copy the styles of his friends. This has caused a problem, because most of the works in this exhibition from Gachet's collection of his friends' paintings and it is a bit unclear who painted what. But for this exhibition, the collection has been very carefully examined by experts and several mysteries have been cleared up once and for all.

Exhibition at the Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, until Monday, 26. April. Open daily except Tuesdays, from 10:00 to 20:00; on Wednesdays until 22:00. Reservations required for visits before 13:00. Tickets available at fnac, Virgin and Carrefour. Resa Info. Tel.: 08 03 80 88 03.

David Hockney's 'Espace / Paysage' at Beaubourg: - This is Hockney's first reappearance in Paris since 1974. Since then a lot of new water has been run through his ever blue pool; which now includes a hole no less than the Grand Canyon represented here with a panoramic collage of panels, 12 metres wide by three high.

The show continues until Monday, 26. April; from 10:00 to 22:00. Closed Tuesdays. This is in Beaubourg's Galerie Sud. Info. Tel.: 01 44 78 46 25.

Starting on Tuesday, I think there will be an exhibition of David Hockey's photographs at the Maison Européenne de la Photo, but I have to confirm this. If it is true, the address is 5-7. rue de Fourcy, Paris 4. Métro: Saint-Paul or Pont-Marie. Info. Tel.: 01 44 78 75 07.

Cent Ans d'Histoire de Paris - Is not just about the pastposter: the cape verde sound 100 years, but about the efforts of the 'Commission du Vieux Paris' to save old Paris before the bulldozers turn it into firstrubble, then into designer-plastic. Along the way, the Commission pushes Paris' history back 5,000 years, by showing a 7,000-year-old pot, found in a local building site. Great stuff!

Hôtel de Ville, Salle Saint-Jean, 5. Rue de Lobau, Paris 4. Métro: Hôtel de Ville. Until Tuesday, 31. March. From 11:00 to 19:00 daily, except Mondays. No entry charge. Exhibition catalogue available.

The The Pompidou Centre - AKA Beaubourg: is open from Monday to Friday, from 11:00 to 18:00 and on Sundays from 10:00 to 18:00. Info Tel.: 01 53 01 86 53 and Fax.: 33 1 42 72 97 47.

Musée d'Art et d'Historie du Judaïsme - this museum opened for the first time in its new incarnation on 6. December of last year, in the Hôtel de Saint-Aignan. This is 'in' the Marais, in the rue du Temple at number 71; Paris 3. Métro: Rambuteau. Since it is a new museum, there is also an Internet address you can write to for information.

Mark Rothko at the Museum of Modern Art - 70 works are on display, done between 1935 and 1969. This amounts to a span of work covering 34 years and it is arranged in chronological order; so you can see either where the artist was going or where he came from.

Musée d'Art Moderne, 11; Avenue du Président-Wilson, Paris 16. Métro: Iéna or Place de l'Alma. Open Tuesday to Friday from 10:00 to 17:30 and on weekends from 10:00 to 18:45. Info. Tel.: 01 53 67 40 00.

Strange Movies - I guess this is what you may see if you intend taking part in the first 'FFF 99 Paris' which is shorthand for the 'Fetisch Film Fest.' Oops, I see that this involves 'alternative' sex, bizarre behavior and other weird strangeness, and would probably be banned if it were on the Web instead of in three Paris cinemas. For people who enjoy fantasies only.

The fifty non-U movies can be seen at L'Espace Saint-Michel, 7. Place Saint-Michel, Paris 5. - Tel.: 01 44 07 20 49; Le Latina, 20. Rue du Temple, Paris 4. - Tel.: 01 42 78 47 86; and Action Christine, 4. Rue Christine, Paris 6. - Tel.: 01 43 29 11 30.

Do You Know Juliette? - She will be singing from Tuesday, 9. February until Valentine's Day at the Olympia every night at 20:30, except on Sundays when she will perform at 17:00. Her new album, which I have not heard, is called 'Assassins sans Couteaux.'

Tickets are available at all the usual places, including the Olympia, which is opposite number 43 in the Boulevard des Capucines, Paris 9. Métro: Madeleine. This concert hall is so famous it does not seem to be in the phone book or in any of my guides; therefore no exact address is given here.

Lettre d'Une Inconnue - is a play by Stefan Zweig that alternates with his 'Souvenirs d'Un Européen-Fragments,' until Saturday, 13. March. The first is on stage Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 19:00; and the latter plays on Mondays and Fridays, also at 19:00. At Le Guichet - Montparnasse, 15. Avenue du Maine, Paris 14. Métro: Gaité. Info. Tel.: 01 43 27 88 61, or get tickets at fnac, Kiosques or Crous.

Who Are The French? - This exhibition - called 'Toute la France' - is about all the people who immigrated to France from 1880 to the present, and there are around 700 items on view - quite a lot of them 'arty.' The names in a 'Who's Who' in France would look like they've come from the world's edition of a telephone directory.

Musée d'Histoire Contemporaine, 129. Rue de Grenelle, Paris 7. Métro: Varenne or Solférino. From Tuesday to Friday, from 10:00 to 13:00 and 14:00 to 17:30; Thursdays to 19:00. On Saturday from 12:30 to 17:30 and on Sundays from 14:00 to 17:30.

The Louvre is never finished - never! - and seems to operate on some expansion system normally found only in outer space. The Louvre, however, is in Paris and itbrochure: valentine loto contents itself with expanding its own interior space into yet more - yes, more! - space for exhibitions.

So then, the Italian wing has added six 'large-format' frescos; two by Botticelli, one by Fra Angelico and three by Luini. These are all in the 15th and 16th century periods and are 'part two' of a three-part expansion; of which the third part will be completed 'next' spring.

Find these new marvels on the first floor of the Denon wing, near the stairway with the 'Winged Victory of Samothrace' [Third century, BC] Everybody in Paris, both residents and visitors know where the Louvre is, so I'm not putting in its address here. For your convenience though - Info. Tel.: 01 40 20 51 51.

The RATP's 'Winter Bus' Tours: - Some of these are to sites in Paris and some are further away; many tours cost about 200 francs, but there are some for less and some for more.

All of this can be found at a little RATP office, just to the right side of the Madeleine. At the same kiosk, there are also a series of attractive brochures for the RATP's regular Paris bus lines. If in need, but sure to check out the nearby public toilet; as it is a jewel and may be classed as a historical monument.

The 'Winter Bus' season continues until 30. March 1999. The kiosk is open Monday to Friday from 9:30 to 12:00 and from 13:00 to 17:00. Closed on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. The 'Summer Bus' season has longer opening hours and is open on weekends.

La Poste Goes Into High Gear - Soon to be severed from the cash-cow of France Telecom, the French postal service is expanding its business activities. One traditional area, philatelic services, have started their marketing machine by putting out new catalogues at a rapid rate.

Number one for 1999 has 60 pages and features this year's stamp for Saint-Valentine's Day, along with everything else. Also featured is the 'Cérès' issue that will be produced for 'Philexfrance,' to take place from 2 to 11. July. This international event will mark La Poste's 150th anniversary.

'La Poste's' services for philatelists are accessible by the Web to interested collectors. Although it is not explicit that La Poste takes foreign orders, it does offer information about its subscription service in English, German, Spanish and Italian, in addition to French. La Poste also accepts payments made with Visa or Mastercard.

Galleries Louise Weiss - The modern art galleries grouped in the rue Louise Weiss, Paris 13, are again staging a new collection of exhibitions. The latest in the series runs until Saturday, 6. March. Opening hours are usually from 14:00 to 19:00 daily, except for all of them being closed on Mondays. All galleries: métro Chevaleret.

Long-Running Exhibitions, Shows and Events:

Painters At the Marine Museum - For a pleasant museum full of many wonders. For the 36th time, the Musée de la Marine is presenting its ever-growing collection of marine paintings. Many of these are done by 'official' navy painters, but the exhibition also shows works by independent artists.

Except for Tuesdays, open daily from 10:00 to 17:50. Musée de la Marine, Palais de Chaillot, 17. Place du Trocadéro, Paris 16. Métro: Trocadéro.

Royal Paintings - actually in the Ile-de-France, at Fountainbleau, there is an exhibition of a collection of 48 paintings grouped together for the first time. Some of these are decor for royal surroundings, and Rubens was among the 'decorators,' which will give you an idea of the class of the act.

The Musée du Château de Fontainbleau, is in Fontainbleau with a lot of other sights to see, and is 65 km by road from Paris. Trains go there too, but my Michelin map does not say from where - except that I can see the tracks run along the Seine past Melun - I guess from the Gare de Lyon, since the RER line 'D' runs to Melun from there. The museum is closed on Tuesdays and open from 9:30 to 12:30, and from 14:00 to 17:00 all other days. Info. Tel.: 01 60 71 50 70.

Note: - Fountainbleau is the current site of an international attempt to hack out another 'peace in the Balkans.' There may be a bit more 'security' around than usual, so it would be a good idea to phone before any visit - to make sure there is access.

23rd Paris International Marathon: - The Marathon International de Paris - is to be run on Sunday, 4. April 1999. To register, try the fax number 33 -1 41 33 15 69, or give the Web site a hit.

Until 19. March, the entry charges are 250 francs for residents, and to 370 francs - US$75, 115 DM - for visitors. The rates for signing up after 19. March are quite a bit higher and entries are limited to 25,000. If you wait and the quota is full on the sign-up deadline, you'll be out of luck.

If this big-time stuff is not your beat, there is also a Semi-Marathon; which will be run in Paris on Sunday, 7. March 1999. Take your pick.

Tropiques Métis: - is a program of plays and Carnaval workshops for the young, on Wednesdays in January and March. Toss in a bit - 400 years - of history, and you can find it all in one place until 12. April, at the Musée des Arts et Traditions Populaires. 6. avenue du Mahatma Gandhi, Paris 6.

This is inside the Jardin d'Acclimatation. Métro: Sablons, in Neuilly, plus a seven-minute walk. Open daily except Tuesday, from 9:30 to 17:15. Info. Tel.: 01 44 17 60 00.

Paris' Exceedingly 'Long' Mois de la Photo - 10th Edition: - This annual 'one-month' event kicked off late last October and is continuing well into the new year. Luckily we have the Web and the very long 'Mois de la Photo' has its own site, where there should be a complete program; possibly with dates running right up to the beginning of the 11th edition, in October.

Another Photo-Web sites worth a visit is Centre National de la Photo, which is located in the Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild, 11. rue Berryer, Paris 8. Info. Tel.: 01 53 76 12 32.

L'Antre Magique - is the 'first Magic theatre for enfants' where card tricks are shown with 'nothing up the sleeves' because the little dears don't have any. This has been dreamed up by Christian Gambin.

There are afternoon sessions from 14:30 to 16:00 and 'Soirées Fantastiques' at 20:30 on Fridays and Saturdays. Afternoons are on Wednesday, Saturday, Sundays and holidays. L'Antre Magique, 50. rue Saint-Georges, Paris 9. Metro: Notre-Dame de Lorette. Info. Tel.: 01 39 15 84 48.

Kafka - His 'A la Colonie Penitentiaire,' translated by A. Vialatte and directed by Yves Kerboul, started on the boards at the Théâtre du Tour Tour on 5. January, but does not seem to have an 'until' date - except for the mention that there will be no performances on 26 or 27. February. The address is 20. Rue Quincampoix, Paris 4. Métro: Châtelet. Resa and Info. Tel.: 01 48 87 82 48.

Sauver Assise! - at the Musée du Petit Palais until Sunday, 14. February.

The Musée Carnavalet - has 'Le Vieux Moscou en photos, 1880 to 1915' and this continues until Sunday, 14. February, if you haven't seen it yet.

The Pavillon des Arts - has an exhibition of soviet views - 'Art for the Masses.' This show also seems to be called '1917-1991, La Photographie Soviétique - Mirroir de Son Temps.' It can be seen at the Forum des Halles on the Lautréamont Terrace, by the Porte Rambuteau. Until Sunday, 14. February.

Rembrandt et Amsterdam in Paris: - at the Institut Néerlandais, 121. rue de Lille, Paris 7. Métro: Assemblée Nationale. Except Mondays, daily from 13:00 to 19:00, until Sunday, 14. February.

La Fuite en Egypte - is by Bruno Bayen and most of the multi-page brochure about it is by him too, except for the parts by Robert Graves, Gérard Manly Hopkins and Georges Perec. The cast is four and there are 10 in the orchestra. Until Sunday, 14. February; from Tuesday to Saturday at 20:30 and on Sundays at 16:00. All of this can be found at the Théâtre de Gennevilliers, 41. Avenue des Grésillons in Gennenvilliers, which is across the Seine from Clichy. Métro: Gabriel-Péri, on line 13. Info. Tel.: 01 41 32 26 26.

La Maison du Peuple - is a novel written by Louis Guilloux and it is being performed as a theatre piece on the 100th anniversary of the author's birth by the Companie Marcel Maréchal atposter: musiques mediterranennes the Théâtre du Rond-Point Champs-Elysées, from Wednesday, 27. January, but not continuously, until Saturday, 20. February; at 18:30. One price: 50 francs. Info. Tel.: 01 44 95 98 10, for exact dates and reservations.

Cashemires Parisiens: - Exhibition at the Musée Galliera - Musée de la Mode et du Costume de la Ville de Paris. Final day is Sunday, 28. February.

Hôtel de Ville Skating Rink - Patinoire - Eisbahn:: Place de la Hôtel de Ville: the official Christmas decor is gone but the skaters keep twirling around; with two extra twirl-go-rounds at either end of ice-skating rink. No charge. Ice-skate rentals. Until 7. March 1999. Open from 9:00 to 22:00 daily.

Circus Alexis Gruss: - is Gruss senior and he goes in for 'classic' circus, elegant circus, circus with non-stop costumes and the main acts are done by dancing horses and lesser acts have lots of trained animals too. Until Sunday, 7. March; on the Pelouse de Madrid, in the Bois de Boulogne. Métro: Info. Tel.: 01 44 17 96 22.

Les Musées de France: - have a mail-order catalogue which you can order to have delivered to you. Write with your name and address to Les Musées de France, 60505 Chantilly Cedex, France. The catalogue can also be picked up at their shop, in the Forum des Halles, Porte Berger, level 2; from Monday to Saturday, from 10:30 to 19:15. Info. Tel.: 03 44 58 44 07 or Fax.: 33 3 44 62 80 25.

Long-Range Planning Department: - Make a careful note and keep it where you can find it. There will be an eclipse of the sun by the moon, on Wednesday, 11. August, between 12:16 and 12:32. In Rouen and Reims and 4,998 other towns and villages, it will be total; in Paris only 90 percent.

Baring dense clouds, this will be very visible - or is it nearly invisible? - in the Paris region; something which has not occurred since 1724 when Louis XV was a young lad of 14. Still undecided? The next eclipse is programmed for 2081. If eclipses are your bag, book your flight today!

Some of the above items have been carried over for many issues of this magazine. If you require more information - such as addresses or phone numbers - check 'Past Issues' either from here, or from the top or bottom of any page in the magazine.

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