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.


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