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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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