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Asterix Park Reopens for 1999

Paris:- Saturday, 8. May 1999:- Unlike Disneyland Paris which is open year-round, the Parc Asterix closes long enough in the winter for its principal actors to perform in new movies and cartoons. The park opened again in April, with the announcement of new features for this year:

For its 10th anniversary, 'L'Oxygénarium' has been inbrochure: asterix park 99 operation since 3. April and it might be some sort of hairy ride on a rubber tire, but I don't know for certain. The park is adding a hotel as well, but this will not open until July. In total, there are 28 'attractions' within six theme areas; not all of them Gallo-Roman.

I have never been at one of these amusement parks so I do not know if I am a 'fan' of them. However my family has tested all the ones near Paris - while I 'test' Paris itself - and the Parc Asterix gets high marks for prices, organization and pure fun.

Before rushing off willy-nilly, check out SNCF, RER and RATP ticket windows for combination transport and park-entry tickets. These can be purchased in advance and used any day during the season. Children under three have free entry. The Parc Asterix is on the Web too. In France, Info. Tel.: 02 44 62 34 04, and from abroad: 33 2 44 62 34 04.

Homage à Jean Rigaud - presentsposter: jean rigaud, musee de la marine 80 years worth of this marine painter's production in an exhibition lasting until 23. August. If you have kids and want to take your time while doing a tour of this museum, there is a show called L'Ile au Trésor on every Wednesday, starting at 14:45. By reservation only: for the 8-12s, 25 francs. Tel.: 01 53 65 69 53. For the museum, open daily except Tuesdays, from 10:00 to 17:50. Musée de la Marine, Palais de Chaillot, 17. Place du Trocadéro, Paris 16. Métro: Trocadéro.

Painting: 'Phare de Men-Brial' by Jean Rigaud. ©Musée de la Marine / P. Dantec

Dali Folies - is a dance and comedy show, adapted from Salvador Dali's writing; somewhat concocted and directed by Jacques Darcy. This started last week and runs for about a month, at the Espace Pierre Cardin, 1. Avenue Gabriel, Paris 8. Métro: Concorde. From Tuesday to Saturday at 20:30 and on Sundays at 15:00. Tickets: fnac, Virgin and France Billet. Info. Tel.: 01 42 65 27 35.

Festival du Rire - is a live, late-late show at Le Canotier, starting at midnight on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and continuing until dawn. Le Canotier, 62. Boulevard Rochechouart, Paris 18. Métro: Anvers. Info. Tel.: 01 46 06 02 86.

Passeport Intersites - is free, if you can find one, and it permits discounts to entries at a group of sites in the Val d'Oise. These include the Abbaye de Royaumont, the Château d'Auvers and the Château de la Roche at Guyon; plus three others. If you can answer six questions about the sites, you have a chance to win a Peugeot 206 to take home as a souvenir. I found my 'passeport' at the Paris Tourist Office on the Champs-Elysées.

Nouvelles Histories Comme Ça - is a 'spectacle' by Richard Demarcy, which consists of three short pieces from Rudyard Kipling, Blaise Cendrars and Lewis Carroll. This is for all ages except those less than seven, but is only on until Tuesday, 19. May. At the Théâtre du Rond-Point Champs-Elysées; 2 bis, Avenue Franklin Roosevelt, Paris 8. Info. Tel.: 01 44 95 98 10, from Tuesday to Saturday, from 12:00 to 19:00.

George Dandin ou Le Mari Confondu - is a replay of one of Molière's pieces; one which I have not seen. Actually I have only seen two-thirds of one play, once, and it was a very long time ago. This version, directed this time by Christophe Lidon, is on only until next Sunday, 16. May. At the Théâtre 14 - Jean-Marie Serreau, 20. Avenue Marc Sangnier, Paris 14. Métro: Porte de Vanves. Info. Tel.: 01 45 45 49 77.

Musée d'Art Américain - is featuring 'Ville et Campagne, les Artistes Américains, 1870-1920.' With Mary Cassatt, Homer Winslow, Robert Henri and Whistler, as well as Frederick Childe-Hassem, Charles Curran and John Singer Sargent. The exhibition's pieces are from the collection of the Terra Foundation for the Arts. The museum is located in Giverny, near Claude Monet's house and gardens, and can be reached by road via the A13 autoroute. Or take an SNCF train from Saint-Lazare to Vernon. Museum open from 10:00 to 18:00, except on Mondays. Info. Tel.: 02 32 51 94 65.

L'Avare - is more by Molière and this version is directed by Jérôme Savary. Now being performed with a 'dream' Harpagon - played by Jacques Sereys - and continuing until Sunday, 20. June at the Théâtre National de Chaillot. In the Salle Jean Vilar at 20:00, from Tuesday to Saturday with an afternoon performance at 15:00 on Sundays. No show on 15. June.

Coming Soon: 'Wouah! Wouah!' - is a comedy adapted from Roland Topor's novel, with direction and music by Jacques Coutureau. Love causes imaginary crises and over-reactions, depending on different countries at different times; and this is put together by the creator of the Grand Magic Circus.

The first above at Chaillot; the other coming to the Théâtre National de Chaillot, in the Salle Gémier, on Thursday, 27. May. Showtime will be Tuesday to Saturday at 20:30, and this piece will run until Saturday, 26. June. 1. Place du Trocadéro, Paris 16. Métro: Trocadéro. Ticket at the theatre or at fnac, Virgin and other agencies. Info. Tel.: 01 53 65 30 01.

New Events:

Paris' Ottoman Springtime

'L'Art Ottoman' is a show currently on at the Trianon de Bagatelle. With the 'Temps du Maroc' and the Egyptian mixup, I neglected to mention the details for this one.

Paris is celebrating the 700th anniversary of the Ottoman Empire, which started with Sultan Mehemet II in Constantinople - an 'open' city, lavishly decorated according to the seasons, with a passion for nature. Objects from various collections make up the show as well as an exhibition by 70 photographers, who have rendered Istanbul in all of its variety.

Trianon de Bagatelle, Parc de Bagatelle, Route de Sèvres, Bois de Boulogne, Paris 16. Métro: Pont de Neuilly and then bus 43 for the rest of the way. This exhibition continues until 1. August. Entry to the park is 10 francs, and to the Trianon, 28 francs.

The Other Related Shows:

Meknès Gate at Concorde - was featured in issue 4.15. Its full name is 'La Porte de Meknès Bab El Mansour.' Its 3000 square metres of complex decor is being recreated by Catherine Feff - in France - but in inspired directly from the original at Meknès, and it will only be fully complete in June. As it is already 15 metres high, it is hard to overlook - but don't miss it!

Maroc - les Trésors du Royaume - is an exhibition featuring more than 400 works from Morocco's long prehistory, up to the Islamic period. A final part of the exhibition deals with European painters who worked in Morocco in the late 19th century, such as Matisse and Dufy.

'Le Temps du Maroc' - until Sunday,18. July - can be visited at the Petit Palais, Avenue du Winston Churchill, Paris 8. Métro: Champs-Elysées Clemenceau. Except Monday, open from 10:00 to 17:40; to 20:00 on Thursdays. Catalogue available. Info. Tel.: 01 42 65 12 73.

L'Art Egyptien au Temps des Pyramides - by total coincidence, this exhibition is across the street from Morocco in the Petit Palais, at the Grand Palais. Paris exists in a fever of constant Egyptomania. This Egyptian exhibition focuses on the time of the pyramids - from 2700 to 2100 BC. This is also one of the 'big shows' and exhibits have been borrowed from the Louvre, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Royal Ontario Museum.

L'Art Egyptien - until 12 July, at the Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, Square Jean Perrin, Paris 8. Champs-Elysées Clemenceau. Closed on Tuesdays, otherwise reservations are required for visits from 10:00 to 13:00 - no reservations required from 13:00 to 20:00; 22:00 on Wednesdays. Entry: 56 francs with reservations, 50 francs without. Catalogue available. Info. Tel.: 01 44 13 17 17.

Les Trésors du Sultan Topkapi à Versailles - is a sample of Topkai's collection, going back through centuries to the treasures of Suleiman, the First as well as the Magnificent. At the Château, continuing until... when? Info. Tel.: 01 30 84 74 00. Also in Versailles, the musical Festival des Yvelines has a date for classical on Thursday, 27. May, in the Royal Chapel of the chateau at 20:30. Reservations required: Info. Tel.: 01 39 07 70 92.

Other Coming Shows, Events and Exhibitions:

'L'Artiste Selon Balzac' - The 'Maison de Balzac' reopens on Thursday, 20. May with a new exhibition of artistic works relating to an article published in 1830, in which Balzac defined the creative aspects within artists. On show will be Raphael, done by Ingres, La Fontaine and science types such as Descartes and Newton; to illustrate Balazc's argument.

Until this exhibition begins on 20. May, the Maison de Balzacis closed for renovations. The museum's library has also closed, but will reopen on 19. September. Maison de Balzac, 47. Rue Raynouard, Paris 16. Info. Tel.: 01 42 24 56 38.

Paris' Musée d'Art Moderne - 'Painting After Abstraction, 1955 to 1975' is the coming exhibition. The painters Martin Barré, Jean Degottex, Raymond Hains, Simon Hantaï and Jacques Villeglé will be featured. Beginning Thursday, 20. May and going through to Sunday, 19. September.

The above are new or coming events. Immediately below are long-running events which are nearing their final days. These are followed by current events and way down at the end you will find events that still have a long time to run.


Jean Moulin, 1899-1943 - This is a special exhibition, on the occasion of the anniversary of his birth. Pre-war government administrator, Jean Moulin was one of the most important leaders of the resistance, until captured and executed in 1943. More biographical than the permanent exhibit; many private papers and photos are presented, along with a new film, in super-panoramic-format, narrated by Robert Hossein. At the Mémorial du Maréchal Leclerc Hauteclocque et de la Libération de Paris et Musée Jean Moulin, Jardin Atlantique, above the Gare Montparnasse. Until 2. January 2000, daily except Mondays, from 10:00 to 17:40. Catalogue available, 80 francs. Info. Tel.: 01 40 64 39 44.

'Le Vagabond du Surréalisme' - is Georges Malkine, consideredposter: georges malkine, pavillon des arts to be one of the founders of surrealism. He lived in the USA from 1949 until returning to Paris in 1966. The exhibition will feature 70 works, from the periods of 1925-30 and 1960-70. In the '20's, he was the first 'informalist.' Coming to the Pavillon des Arts, Les Halles, Porte Rambuteau, Terrace Lautréamont, Paris 1. Until 29. August. To be open from 11:30 to 18:30, except on Mondays and holidays.

Detail of 'Le Baiser' by Malkine. ©Adagp 1999 ©Paris Musées

Bon Appétit Mon Roi - For a change, some theatre for little kids; directed by Lucette Grimault. The king loses his appetite and 'Grandma Tartine' goes on a voyage, looking for new taste sensations. On Wednesdays at 15:00 and on Sundays and holidays at 16:30; until 29. June. At the Théâtre Astral in Paris. Info. Tel.: 01 42 41 88 33.

A la Rencontre des Dieux Gaulois, un Défi à César - is about an old story of an Italian visitor's problems with local Gods on a visit to Gaul; backed up by history and archeology. At the Musée des Antiquités Nationales, in Saint-Germain-en-Laye. At the western terminus of the RER 'A' line. The exhibition continues until Monday, 28. June. Info. Tel.: 01 39 10 13 00.

La Bohème - by Giacomo Puccini will be on at the Opéra Bastille from Tuesday, 12. May until Thursday, 27. May. Under the direction of Daniel Oren; directed by Jonathan Miller. Info. Tel.: 08 36 69 78 78.

Coiffures / Sculptures d'Océanie - features two series of spectacular headgear and hairdos from the South Pacific areas of Nouvelle Bretagne and Irian Jaya, which is western Indonesia. These objects cannot be done justice in photographs, so it is a rare occasion to bebrochure: passeport intersites, val d'oise able to see them in Paris. At the Musée des Arts d'Afrique et d'Océanie, 293. Avenue Daumesnil, Paris 12. Métro: Porte Dorée. Except Tuesdays, open daily from 10:00 to 17:30 and on weekends until 18:00. Info. Tel.: 01 44 74 84 80.

Little Big Horn On the Pont des Arts - 11 near-full-size horses and 28 people are African sculptor Ousmane Sow's representation of the principal actors of the Battle of the Little Big Horn.

The Pont des Arts makes a good gallery; there is a lot of light, except at night. The bridge is a good open-air hang-out spot, and Ousmane Sow's sculptures make it very lively - his figures are very dynamic and strong.

This outdoor show is not only free, but you get to cross the Seine at the same time. The official opening day for the public was on Saturday, and the figures will remain in place until Thursday, 20. May. If you are in Paris, don't miss it.

Paris Uni - if somebody comes up to me and asks me where to find the Sorbonne, I am going to tell them the go to the Mairie - the City Hall - of the 5th arrondissement. This is not actually far from the Sorbonne, but what is better, it has an exhibition about the Paris universities and 'Grandes Ecoles.'

I may even go myself, because the 'University of Paris' is like a huge campus, spread all over the city. This exhibition puts it virtually in one place, with three main themes; all illustrated by many photos. On show until Monday, 24. May; at the Mairie of the 5th, 21. Place du Panthéon, Paris 5. Info. Tel.: 01 43 25 30 30.

Around the Death of Richard, the Lion-Heart - is actually about the original document for the peace treaty between Richard the Lion-Heart and Philippe Auguste, concluded at Louviers on 15. January 1196. The exhibition also includes related documents and other graphic souvenirs.

At the Archives Nationales, Musée de l'Histoire de France, Hôtel de Soubise, 60. Rue des Francs-Bourgeois, Paris 3. Métro: Rambuteau. Closed Tuesdays; open Monday to Friday, from 12:00 to 17:45; and weekends from 13:45 to 17:45. Until Monday, 31. May. Entry: 20 francs. Info. Tel.: 01 40 27 62 18.

Touhami Ennadre - is a photographer who has given up all narrative to concentrate on the subjects of his images of things - religious.At the same museum you can also see the 'Courant Continu' show by Ralph Gibson as well as the 'Portraits - Réel/Virtuel' exhibition by Catherine Ikam and Louis Fléri. Both expos until Wednesday, 30. May, at the Maison Européenne de la Photo, 5-7. rue de Fourcy, Paris 4. Métro: Saint-Paul or Pont-Marie. Info. Tel.: 01 44 78 75 07.

The The Pompidou Centre - AKA Beaubourg:- is mostly closed but the part that's open, 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 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.

Long-Running Exhibitions, Shows and Events:

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.

Musée Cernuschi, 7. Avenue Vélasquez, Paris 8. Métro: Villiers. Open from 10:00 to 17:40 daily except Mondays; until 27. June. Info. Tel.: 01 45 63 50 75.

Les Hommes - in 100 films, at the Forum des Images - continues until 29. June. This is in the Forum des Halles, by the Porte Saint-Eustache entry, Paris 1. Info. Tel.: 01 44 76 62 00.

'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.

Many came from Saint Petersburg and stayed first at the atelier-village of La Ruche, to form the first 'Ecole de Paris.' Later they took over the area of the Champagne-Première and danced at the Bal Bullier.

A parallel exhibition features the Slovenian artist and photographer, Veno Pilon. He began at the Beaux-Arts in Florence and washed up in Paris in 1926, to settle into the Montparno melting pot with ease - and he 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.

Les Rues de Paris au XVIIIe Siècle - 'As seen by Louis Sébastien Mercier.' In the 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.'

Mercier set it all down in his 'Tableau de Paris,' written between 1781 and 1789, in 12 volumes with 1,050 chapters. He set down whether Parisians were eating cakes, bread or nothing.

Paris' history museum, the Musée Carnavalet, is 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 - 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.

Catacombs Photo Show - Once upon a time, Parisians were buried near where they lived, workedposter: festival du rire and worshiped. Then came another, later time, when cemeteries took up too much valuable downtown real estate, and the poor bones had to find other lodgings.

Some of the bones are on permanent view at Paris' Catacombs. These are adorned with pithy signs and the photographer, Jean-Yves Le Roy had recorded some of them for this exhibition, which can be viewed before actually viewing the actual bones. The texts are not only in French, but in Latin, Greek, Italian and even Swedish - so take a translator.

"Arrête! C'est ici l'Empire de la mort," is one example that has been photographed at the Catacombs, 1. Place Denfret-Rochereau, Paris 14. Métro: Denfret-Rochereau. Open from Tuesday to Friday, from 14:00 to 18:00; and on weekends from 9:00 to 11:00 and from 14:00 to 16:00. On view until 14. February 2000, no less.

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.

The Musée de la Poupée - the Doll Museum - is hidden at the endposter: moliere, le mari confondu of a dead-end alley, about two minutes' walk from the Pompidou Centre. The current special exhibition features rabbits and other long-eared 'objects' - until 30. May.

There is also a permanent exhibition of over 300 dolls, dating from 1850. These are presented in 36 scenes, along with model period furniture. The boutique features items made especially for the museum, and has doll parts for collectors as well as general doll souvenirs.

Musée de la Poupée, Impasse Berthaud, Paris 3. Métro: Rambuteau. Except Monday, open daily from 11:00 to 18:00. Boutique next door. From the east side of the Rue Beaubourg, turn into the alley, where you will see signposts for the museum. Info. Tel.: 01 42 72 73 11.

Jean Racine 1699-1999 - gets a big remembrance in the Yvelines department this spring, with theatre, conferences, tours, an exhibition and concerts being staged. For details of the full program, try the Web site for the Ile-de-France, which is not the same as the one mentioned in earlier issues.

In addition to the city of Paris, the Ile-de-France is composed of seven other departments. Yvelines gets mentioned a lot because of Versailles and Saint Germain-en-Laye, but the biggest department, Seine-et-Marne gets mentioned only seldom, even though it is the location of our local Disneyland.

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. There may be more information about it on the Web site of the Ile-de-France.

Musée Rambolitrain - may be an odd name, but it is one of the very few model train museums around. It has more than 4,000 engines and wagons and 400 metres of tiny tracks. According to the photos, therebrochure: dali folies are also steam trains for riding, and a special weekend for them is planned for Mayday. Open on holidays, but otherwise open from Wednesday to Saturday, from 10:00 to 12:00 and from 14:00 to 17:30. Entry for big people is 22 francs and for normal people from four to 12 it is 14 francs. In Rambouillet, 4. Place Jeanne d'Arc. Info. Tel.: 01 34 83 15 93.

Eclipse On the Web: - Your presence may be necessary for the scheduled eclipse of the sun by the moon, on Wednesday, 11. August - between 12:16 and 12:32 - which will be total in Rouen and Reims and 4,998 other towns and villages - unless uou have a prior engagement elsewhere.

Since the next eclipse will not be until 2081, to find out more about this one or to get prepared to view it, I advise checking out the following Web sites: the Université de Strasbourg, the Institut de Mécanique Céleste and one known simply as the 'Eclipse Solaire '99.'

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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