Scene - Free Museum Day in Yvelines

photo: line at pyramid, louvre

Free lines waiting to get into the Louvre,
wait for spring too.

And Free Spring Blossoming in Paris

Paris:- Saturday, 20. March 1999:- Readers who are writing for information about events at the end of this year are a bit too soon to get details from this column. However, I have been thinking about how to rework it, so you can plan further ahead.

Basically, I can't do much until I get the program myself - but it now looks like the basic information is in my hands - for events until next September. These I will attempt to add here in some form next week. Mind you, just the major stuff. None of the RATP's 'Event Per Day' items. These are only posted in the métro and are usually scheduled for tomorrow.

Official Internet Française - is not an event but an official decree, which I am tossing in here willy-nilly because there is an image of the brochure on the page. New 'rules' in France become lawbrochure: net francaise when they are published in the 'Journal Officiel,' and the publication date is always given.

By publishing, it means nobody has any excuse to plead ignorance - but I have never seen any readership figures posted for the 'Journal Officiel.' This decree about 'Internet Française' has the date of 16. March 1999, so it is pretty current.

It contains a list of commonly-used English terms and gives their official French equivalents. However, the French version comes first, so you have to read all of it to find out what has been substituted for what.

The first item is 'adresse de courier électronique,' or simply 'adresse électronique.' For purposes of business cards or letterheads, this can be shortened to 'Mél.' This stands for 'messagerie électronique,' and is not to be confused as some weird version of 'mail.'

I was under the impression that 'Mél' had become a dead duck after the magazines tried it for months and everybody kept on saying and writing 'email.' Another new official word(s) is 'courrier électronique' and this is also the equivalent of 'email.' This is followed by the yet again official 'message électronique' and its Anglo equivalent is, again, 'email.'

For 'messagerie électronique,' the 'symbol' is 'Mél' and for meaning, it says, see 'courrier électronique.' Thus, France's language eggheads have dreamed up no less than five quite lengthy equivalents for one five-letter word, email. Progress is wonderful.

Free Entry - Museums in Yvelines - I misunderstood this to be earlier, but in fact it will be next Sunday, 28. March. You probably know that Versailles is in the Yvelines Department, but did you know that Jean Monnet, André Derain, Emile Zola, Maurice Ravel, Louis Aragon, Maurice Denis and Claude Debussy also have museums in this department too? And besides these 'names,' there are dozens other interesting ones as well. Info. Tel.: 01 39 07 71 83.

Georges Pompidou - was instrumental in creating new links between the state and culture, especially in the area of contemporary art - for which Paris has the Pompidou Centre, currently undergoing extensive renovations (see below). However, until Sunday, 18. April, there is an exhibition demonstrating the 'art-links' instituted by President Pompidou, at the Jeu de Paume, right beside the Place de la Concorde. Check opening times: Info. Tel.: 01 47 03 12 50.

Preview: Salon de Maquette 1999 - this 20th annual edition kicks off on Saturday, 3. April and continues until Sunday, 11. April. Models are not what they used to be and you can see what they are like now, regardless of your age. At Paris-Expo, Porte de Versailles. Expect to see a feature on this in Metropole, as I never pass this one up.

Spring Expected Soon - and Paris is expected to burst into flower after the first tentative steps, seen already. For this reason, Paris has publishedbooklet: jardins de paris a new edition of 'Les Jardins de Paris,' which is the practical program to the city's guided tours of its parks and gardens. The 70-page booklet is free and also contains information concerning visits for the deaf and those whose sight is not tip-top.

This booklet can be found in the reception areas of all Paris' 20 city halls - the Mairies of the arrondissements - and at the Paris Tourist Office on the Champs-Elysées. Your first stop should be the Parc Floral de Paris, out at Vincennes. The Parc Floral is having a spring bud show until 18. April.

Molière et Lully - has two alternate titles of 'Le Sicilien' or 'L'Amour Peintre' and it is put on by the Théâtre de l'Impossible under the direction of Robert Bensimon; and features Corine Thézier, Roger Crouzet, and Lisa Lévy. What might be giddy performances, are on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, at 18:00; beginning Thursday, 25. March and continuing until Sunday, 17. April. This takes places at the Théâtre Mouffetard, 73. Rue Mouffetard, Paris 5. Métro: Monge. Info. Tel.: 01 43 31 11 99.

200 Years of Lithos - is a new exhibition featuring the short but revolutionary history of a modern form of art expression, now at Paris' Bibliothèque Historique. Before lithography, most art was hand produced as single objects. After lithography, the offset process could be invented - which in turn gives us daily papers and magazines. But pure lithography is less than totally industrial, so it remains as an enduring artistic domain. At the Bibliothèque Historique, 22. rue Malher, Paris 4. The exhibition continues until Sunday, 4. April. Hours for the exhibition are daily except Mondays, from 10:00 to 18:00 and from 12:00 to 19:00 on Sundays. Info. Tel.: 01 44 59 29 60.

Didier Lockwood - with his quartet, will be givingposter: didier lockwood two concerts a night until Saturday, 27. March. Performances at 20:00 and 22:00 at the Sunset, 60. Rue des Lombards, Paris 1. Resa. Tel.: 01 40 26 46 60, or fnac, Virgin, Billetel.

Tout sur Chéreau, Genet, Koltès - features their films, their plays and their documentaries; all at the Magic Cinéma under the heading of 'Théâtres au Cinéma.' Until Tuesday, 30. March. At the Magic Cinéma, Rue du Chemin Vert, in Bobigny. Info. Tel.: 01 41 60 12 34.

50 Créateurs de Mode - These 50 fashion designers have put together a collective of nine boutiques and called it the 'Espace Créateurs' - which you can find in the Forum des Halles, near the Porte Berger and one floor down. Open from 11:00 to 19:00, from Monday to Saturday.

The above are new events. Below are events already mentioned in this column; minus the ones that have left the scene. Also below, are some of this week's new posters and other images from the Salon du Livre - so take a skim anyway.


Le Théâtre du Châtelet - will not reopen until October of this year, but the reception area of the Hôtel de Ville now has an exhibition featuring the history of Châtelet and the theatre. This exhibition is certainly worth a look even if there is no entry charge and it is open daily from 9:30 to 18:00, except on Sundays and public holidays. This exhibition continues until 15. May. At the Salon d'Accueil, 29. Rue de Rivoli, Paris 4.

Le Printemps des Poètes - is a general manifestation of poetry and spring, scheduled to last - officially - from Sunday, 21. March to Sunday, 28. March. It is connected to the Fête de la Musique - for which I have no information - but should be taking place on street corners as well in places where poetry is habitually conducted - so look for it wherever you happen to be.

What Is Bratsch? - whatever it is, it is at the Maroquinerie until Sunday, 28. March at 20:30, except on Sundays when it is at 17:00. No Bratsch on Wednesdays. From the poster in last week's issue, I see what looks like five guys with one clarinet. If you want to see these guys, go to 23. Rue Boyer, Paris 20. Near métro Gambetta. Info. Tel.: 01 40 33 30 60. Tickets can be obtained at fnac and France Billet too.

Festival International Exit - There is more to 'Exit' than you think. There is theatre, with Robert Wilson. There is dance, with Vincent Mantsoé. There is 'Performance' with Kung Fu. There is 'Installation' with a 'Cabinet des Curiosités.' Finally, there is 'Asian Club' from London, with Joi, Pathaan, Bobby Friction, Round Eye, and Mo'Magic, among others.

It all seems as if 'Exit' is a performance festival, starting on Thursday, 25. March and continuing until Saturday, 3. April. Mo'better information may be on the Web site, or you can try the Info. Tel.: 01 45 13 19 19. At the Maison des Arts et de la Culture André Malraux, Place Salvador Allende, in Créteil. Métro: Créteil-Prefecture.

Festival de l'Imaginaire - seems like a logical follow-up to the proceeding, and it has Chinese opera, Korean dances, African and Japanese stuff; as well as 'Vilokan' from Haiti and a Qawwali ceremony from Pakistan and a Riho de Mestia choir from Georgia, which I do not think is the one in the US.

As is more the case nowdays, the Festival de l'Imaginaire has a Web site as well as an Info. Tel.: 01 45 44 72 30, to get the complete program. For reservations, call fnac at 01 45 44 41 42. At La Maison des Cultures du Monde, 101. Boulevard Raspail, Paris 6. This festival has already begun, but it continues until mid-April; so you haven't missed everything exotic yet.

A Demain Cette Nuit - is described as 'like' an 'impossible' rendezvous. If you've been to and survived the three events above, I canposter: theatre mouffetard believe it. The best thing about this piece of musical and dancing Dada is that it comes to us thanks to Le Preau and the Centre Dramatique National located in Basse-Normandie.

Performances of 'A Demain Cette Nuit' begin on Tuesday, 23. March and continue until Saturday, 10. April; at the well-known Café de la Danse, 5. Passage Louis-Philippe, Paris 11. Métro: Bastille. This is the one you get to by taking the Rue de la Lappe and turning off at number 21. No show on Sundays. Tickets from fnac or Info. Tel.: 01 40 21 70 70.

'Saint- Pétersbourg/Vavin - is about the first lot of 'Russians' artists to invade Paris. From Vasilieff, Chagall, Soutine, Orloff, Zadkine and all the others, here are 40 of their works.

The Russians arrived in waves from the turbulent east. They came at the turn of the century, before the War and the Revolution, and after them. Many came from Saint Petersburg and stayed first at the atelier-village of La Ruche, to form the first 'Ecole de Paris.' Later, with a bit of prosperity, they took over the area of the Champagne-Première and danced at the Bal Bullier.

A parallel exhibition features the little-known Slovenian artist and photographer, Veno Pilon. He began at the Beaux-Arts in Florence and washed up in Paris in 1926. From the remains of the eastern empires, he settled into the Montparno melting pot with ease - and recorded it in line, portraits and photographic halftones - the terraces and the artists.

Musée du Montparnasse, 21. Avenue du Maine, Paris 15. Métro: Montparnasse. The Russian show continues until 1. August. Open Wednesday to Sunday from 13:00 to 19:00. Entry: 20 francs. Info. Tel.: 01 42 22 91 96.

Today's Russians in Issy - this is how the announcement begins about our second lot of Russians - which is about the celebration of the 200th anniversary of Alexandr Pushkin's birth, which Issy intends to do in a big way until Sunday, 11. April.

Issy-les-Moulineaux gets this honor because of the many Russians who settled in the area after the Revolution. The show will be a double one: rare books illustrated by Russian artists and a hundred portraits by 36 painters. You will need to clear up what will be where - between Issy's Médiathèque and the Musée Française de la Carte à Jouer.

Les Rues de Paris au XVIIIe Siècle - 'As seen by Louis Sébastien Mercier.' A few years before the Revolution, the writer Louis Sébastien Mercier (1740-1814) ploughed the streets of Paris, threaded his way through the crowds, looked in shop windows, observed the work of artisans, heard the cries of street vendors - 'for 30 years.'

Not content with this, he set it all down in his 'Tableau de Paris,' written between 1781 and 1789. In 12 volumes with 1,050 chapters. He knows whether Parisians were eating cakes, bread or nothing. He went on the write a science-fiction novel, set in the year 2,440.

Paris' history museum, the Musée Carnavalet, is going to be showing a selection of Mercier's works - reduced to 8,000 pages - along with a whole assembly of paintings, household objects and even pots and bones dug up by the Vieux Paris commission.

Musée Carnavalet - Histoire de Paris - from Thursday, 18. March until Sunday, 20. June. 23. Rue de Sévigné, Paris 3. Open Tuesday to Sunday, from 10:00 to 17:40. Entry: 35 francs. Info. Tel.: 01 42 72 21 13.

L'Age d'Or de la Céramique Chinoise - is a public exhibition of the private collection known as the Meiyintang Collection, and it features 99 selected pieces from the beginning of the Sui dynasty in 581 to the period of the Yuan dynasty, or about 1368. This show is a concentrated version of a wider show of the collection, mounted in London in 1994. The show's catalogue has been written by the well-known authority, Regina Krahl.

Musée Cernuschi, 7. Avenue Vélasquez, Paris 8. Métro: Villiers. Open from 10:00 to 17:40 daily except Mondays. Info. Tel.: 01 45 63 50 75.

Autour de l'Ordonnence de Villers-Cotterêts - In August of 1539, the Chancellor of François 1st composed a general order concerning justice and the police. For good measure, two articles of this order - the 110th and 111th - also laid down the rules for the usage of the French language for the writing and editing of administrative, judicial and notarial laws or decrees.

The original of this document is on show at the Archives Nationales, Musée de l'Histoire de France, Hôtel de Soubise, 60. Rue des Francs-Bourgeois, Paris 3. Métro: Rambuteau. Closedbooklet: le moutard Tuesdays; open Monday to Friday, from 12:00 to 17:45; and weekends from 13:45 to 17:45. Entry: 20 francs. Info. Tel.: 01 40 27 62 18.

'Les Acteurs à l'Ecran' is a modest festival celebrating film actors by showing them in about 100 films. Some of the actors will be present after the screening and two prizes will be awarded. Until Sunday, 28. March, at the Ciné 104 at Pantin and the G. Méliès in Montreuil. For the program, write to Les Acteurs à l'Ecran, 61. Boulevard Jules Guesde, 93200 Saint-Denis. Info. Tel.: 01 48 20 99 20.

The '10th Biennale de Danse' goes on in 20 towns with 50 performances, in the Val-de-Marne until Friday, 16. April. For the complete program, dates and locations, Info. Tel.: 01 46 86 70 70, or hit the Web site.

Laves Emaillées - Prolongation - made for the Saint-Vincent-de-Paul church in the 19th century by Jules Jollivet, and stashed for decades in obscurity because they were judged 'immodest,' these works have be restored and can be seen in an exhibition that has been prolonged until Sunday, 2. May. See them in the atelier of Ary Scheffer, at the Musée de la Vie Romantique, 16. Rue Chaptal, Paris 9. Métro: Pigalle. Except Mondays, open daily from 10:00 to 17:40. Info. Tel.: 01 48 74 95 38.

Que la Lumière Soit! - is how the Samaritaine department store describes a display of lamps by contemporary designers. These lamps are of two types: 'Earth and Nature' and 'Contemporary Design' and they will be on view in Magazin 2 on the third floor. Samaritaine is, of course, at the north end of the Pont Neuf.

The Centre Culturel Suisse: - is a small but busy establishment in the Marais, which promotes Swiss culture. It also has temporary exhibitions and the next one will be of Michel Huelin's 'paintings and vidéo.' This exhibition runs until 6. June. In parallel, there is also an exhibition at the Galerie Zürcher, which runs until 8. April.

Centre Culturel Suisse, 38. Rue des Francs-Bourgeois, Paris 3. Métro: Saint-Paul. Open Wednesday to Sunday, from 14:00 to 19:00. Info. Tel.: 01 42 71 38 38. Galerie Zürcher, 56. Rue Chapon, Paris 3. Open from Tuesday to Saturday, from 11:00 to 19:00.

'Vivre Paris' - is an exhibition featuring 30 artists from Latin America who live and work in Paris. From the description, 'grand masters' are placed beside upcoming 'young Turks' and varying styles are placed edge to edge.

I paid a quick visit and found the Espace Electra to be an attractive gallery, and a glimpse around a corner wall revealed some visitors inside a sort of pink shower; so I think you may find some amusing as well as interesting works here.

'Vivre Paris' can be seen at the Fondation Electricité de France's Espace Electra, 6. Rue Récamier, Paris 7. Métro: Sèvres-Babylone. Until Sunday, 18. April. Info. Tel.: 01 53 63 23 45.

Banlieues Bleues '99 - If you like the Blues and you don't mind the 'Burbs, then you'll want to take in all or some of the 16th edition of Banlieues Bleues which takes off inbrochure: 50 createurs mode various locations in Seine-Saint-Denis starting Tuesday, 9. March. This festival features 57 groups and lasts for six weeks, until Friday, 16. April. This is a lota Blues and a lota Banlieues!

Besides individual entries, there are combo tickets available. For reservations or more information, Info. Tel.: 01 49 22 10 10, or Fax.: 33 1 49 22 10 11.

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 true 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. This 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.

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.

At the Maison Européenne de la Photo you can see the 'Courant Continu' show by Ralph Gibson as well as the 'Portraits - Réel/Virtuel' exhibition by Catherine Ikam and Louis Fléri. On show until Sunday, 30. May. The address is 5-7. rue de Fourcy, Paris 4. Métro: Saint-Paul or Pont-Marie. Info. Tel.: 01 44 78 75 07.

The 23rd Paris International Marathon: - The Marathon 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.

This marathon is the big one for those who don't like the short run of the little one in March. The marathon starts on the Champs-Elysées and ends up in the Avenue Foch after the regulation international distance.

'Chorus des Hauts-de-Seine' - is a part of the 12th Festival de la Chanson - which continues until Wednesday, 31. March. Info. Tel.: 01 47 74 51 11.

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. The exhibition is 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.

Cent Ans d'Histoire de Paris - Is not just about the past 100 years, but about the efforts of the 'Commission du Vieux Paris' to save old Paris before the bulldozers turn it into first rubble, then into designer-concrete. 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. Good old 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.

Paris' Musée d'Art Moderne - 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. Until Sunday, 18. April.

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.

The Musée Zadkine - Pierre-Claude de Castro and Alain Sonneville want you to see their 'Strange Beds.' These two nighttime museum guards have some sort of exhibition which features their after-work fold-up or down beds, mixed with administrative notes about their jobs, all under the subhead of 'Inactions Interpassives.' In short, it's all Dada!

Musée Zadkine, 100. bis, Rue d'Assas, Paris 6. Métro: Vavin or RER, Port Royal. Except Mondays, open from 10:00 to 17:30.

Long-Running Exhibitions, Shows and Events:

Historic Writer's Route - is a tour of 12 famous French writer's homes, located west of Paris on both sides of the Seine valley, as far as Normandy. Even if you don't actually visit the houses, this would be a good trip and would probably take a couple of days of wandering around.

Those on the Seine route are Tourgueniev, Dumas, Zola, Maeterlinck, Michelet, Corneille, Flaubert, Hugo, and Jean de la Varende down at Le Chamblac near Broglie.

There may be more information about it on the Web site of the Ile-de-France regional council, but in the quick look I took I didn't find anything except for a note that the site was undergoing changes.

Royal Paintings: - also 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 for royal decor, 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. The main 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.

Another Photo-Web site 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.

Closed - Temporarily - The Maison de Balzac is currently closed for renovations. It will reopen on Thursday, 20. May, for theposter: '303' magazine exhibition, 'La Toise du Savant et de Vertige du Fou - Figures de l'Artiste Chez Balzac.' The museum's library remains open until Saturday, 3. April; then it will close until 18. September. Maison de Balzac, 47. Rue Raynouard, Paris 16. Info. Tel.: 01 42 24 56 38.

'303' is a slick magazine, featuring all cultural aspects of the Loire region.

Scheduled Eclipse Not Yet Sold Out: - There are still seats available for the scheduled 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, which is not too shabby considering this is about the maximum amount of sun we ever see.

This sort of celestial event has not occurred since 1724. If you can't make up your mind to catch this one, 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 'All Past Issues' either from here, or from the top or bottom of any page in the magazine.

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contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
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