Last Chance For the Pont Des Arts Sculpture Show

photo: herb & ric on the pont des arts

The geezers who do the 'touring,' get popped by a friendly civilian - Sunday on the Pont des Arts.

No 'Prolongation' In Sight, Yet

Paris:- Saturday, 15. May 1999:- At the end of April Herb Malsman wrote to ask if I could help him set up an audio-tour of the Père-Lachaise cemetery. Herb produces and hosts a show called 'Visions' - a series of audio visits to nearly everywhere - which can be found in the World Travel section of Broadcast.Com's audio-book Web site.

One thing led to another and I got to mumble, talk incoherently, say 'uh' a lot and make 'shut off' hand signs at Herb for three hours on Sunday - tomorrow - in the Latin Quarter. I know this column is dated - today - Saturday, because in theory it should be wrapped up today. Why it is not, is a long, boring story.

Herb used to have his show broadcast by New York's WMCA and it ran non-stop without commercials. Tomorrow, in the Latin Quarter, we meet at Saint-Germain des Prés, and I sort of take Herb on a verbal waterfall of a 'tour' - from the church, along the Rue de l'Abbaye to the Rue de l'Echaude, and down the Rue de Seine to the Institut de France, and across the Pont des Arts to the Louvre.

To walk this normally, even with a bit of looking around, takes about 10 minutes. We take three hours of tape to do it. Sometime in June, Herb will put most of this online, with maybe only some of the 'uhs' edited out. As soon as Herb sends me the 'airdate,' I'm leaving town.

But this won't do me any good because Herb is a real 'Internet' guy. All his shows are all still online. Some are from the mosquito-infested jungles of South America; quite unlike the chilly atmosphere of a partly sunny Sunday under the influence of a north-east wind in Paris.

Because I'm a slow thinker and slower writer I can easily take three hours to write a short piece; but blabbing about Paris for three hours, pausing only to renew the cassettes, has left me dizzy. As well as somewhat thirsty.

This will, I hope, explain why the two geezers at the top of this page have lost their horizons, while on the Pont des Arts. Once we reached the other side, by the bouquinistes, Herb saw a postcard of Salvador Dali and immediately said, "I interviewed Dali in a nightclub." This has become this week's cartoon.

I think Thursday, 20. May is the last day for sculptor Ousmane Sow's 'Little Big Horn' show on the Pont des Arts. Like Cristo's 'wrap-ups' this is a show to 'see' once in a lifetime. Herb Malsman didn't know about it before he saw it, and seeing it blew him away. Tune in to his 'Visions' to hear what Herb getting blown away sounds like, plus some other Paris noises.

And this explains why, I hope again, this column does not have much new stuff in it.

Some New Stuff: - Paris is never without it except in August; the film festival in Cannes is on right now - but it's off my beat - and then comes the Tour de France bike race, which falls loosely into the 'Sports Events' category, and then comes August and that's the end of the 'event'-year.

I have heard that Monet is playing now in the Musée de l'Orangerie and all the five-star hotels are booked solid on account of the air show and arms-sale fair at Le Bourget, which kicks off on Sunday, 13. June.

The interesting air show is at Cerney, La Ferté Alais, in deepest Essonne - with its Fête Aérienne, next Saturday and Sunday, 22 and 23. May. In keeping with the extreme age of some of the aircraft that will be flying there, this popular annual flying machine weekend seems to have no Web site. Info. Tel.: 01 41 40 31 40, and Fax.: 01 41 40 32 55. My impression of it was called 'Propellers by the Hundreds' when the 1996 edition was kind of pre-reported in Metropole.

Rickshaw Days - are with us again; now with the name of Vélo Taxi. The locomotion for these are supposed to speak your language and to pedal for no less than three hours, before taking the métro home. The Vélo Taxis are stationed in the Place de la Concorde - in front of the Crillon? - no, by the Tuileries - and follow a fixed one-hour route in the bike lanes, around the centre of Paris, on both banks on the Seine. The fare is 90 francs for one and 130 francs for two, which is a heck of a deal if your rollers are busted.

While scrounging around the Latin Quarter last week - the first time - I kept seeing the poster for the art gallery open day, which is mentioned in the new 'Club' column. In the course of running it down I kept seeing another poster for what I thought was 'Non Art.' This seemed to me to be somewhat brave, so I sought its source.

Like so many things, I got it wrong and it is 'Mon Art' and if you go to the Galerie de l'Europe, at 55. Rue de Seine, Paris 6 of course, you will see that 'Mon Art' is not only very big, but it is also quite funny if you look at it long enough. As far as I could make out, it is all paint, all by Bertini who seems to be nicknamed, 'La Retro-Garde.' If you liked 'La Dolce Vita' at Cannes in 1959, you'll like this.

La Poste - is really good about sendingbrochure: asterix by la poste its latest 'collector's' catalogue of goodies, but I am really bad at keeping up with it. I have already mentioned the 'art treasures' series, and this is featured again.

Featured as 'new' is a 3-franc 'Asterix,' but with a magnifying glass I think I make out a date of 8. March. Since I only mentioned the re-opening of the Asterix Park for this season last week, now I mention the stamp.

A reminder about their 'Chefs-d'oeuvre de l'Art:' this block features the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo and Delacroix' La Liberté, on a sheet with the Chatte de Bastet. The face price of 50 francs also includes a pass to the Philexfrance '99 exhibition.

'La Poste's' services for philatelists are accessible by the Web to interested collectors. La Poste offers information about its subscription service in English, German, Spanish and Italian. La Poste also accepts payments made plastic too.

The Musée de la Poupée - for the centenary of the Société Française de Fabrication de Bébés et Jouets, Paris' doll museum will have an exhibit of the 'Les Plus Belles,' dating from 1899 to 1957. Many of these are from private collections and some will be up for auction on Sunday, 26. September.

In the meantime, 'Les Plus Belles' will be on show at the museum from Friday, 4. June until 12. September. Thebrochure: musee de la poupee concurrent special exhibition features rabbits and other long-eared 'objects,' and lasts until Sunday, 30. May.

The permanent exhibition of over 300 dolls, dating from 1850, 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.

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 Topkapi'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.

Coming Shows, Events and Exhibitions:

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.

To be at 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.

'L'Artiste Selon Balzac' - The 'Maison de Balzac' reopens on Thursday, 20. May with a new exhibition of artistic worksbrochure: l'artiste selon balzac 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 Balzac is 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. See the end of this column for the address.

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.

Parc Asterix - for its 10th anniversary, 'L'Oxygénarium' has been in 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 'attractons' within six theme areas; not all of them Gallo-Roman.

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