Nuts and Bolts at Arts et Métiers

photo: view square willette, montmartre

From Sacre Coeur's steps, looking down at
the Square Willette.

And Zwergs at Bagatelle

Paris:- Saturday, 25. March 2000:- If our brave new 2000 world seems to be full of 'virtual' and bubbles, the reason we have museums is so we can go and see what our great-great-grandparents were up to.

After ten years of being mostly closed and about four years of being all closed, a major Paris museum has reopened. Last week I thought it would be a great treat for my kids to see it - and me too - but they had never been up on the Tour Eiffel, so that's where we went.

All the same, the Tour Eiffel is over a 100 years old and it is built of steel and cables and has gearworks, and this is what the Musée des Arts et Métiers is all about. It has original airplanes as old as the Tour Eiffel in it. It only got 50 centimetres off the ground, but it was a start.

More about this fascinating museum later. For now, Musée des Arts et Métiers, 60. Rue Réaumur, Paris 3. Métro: Arts et Métiers. Open daily except Mondays, from 10:00 to 18:00; until 21:00 on Thursdays. Entry: 35 francs. Info. Tel.: 01 53 01 82 20.

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The items below are not necessarily 'new;' but they are this column's leads.

15th Festival du Film de Paris - begins today and continues until Monday, 3. April: all at the Cinéma Gaumont-Marignan, 27. Avenue des Champs-Elysées, Paris 8. The subtitle for this is 'Paris-Hollywood sur Seine,' so expect a lot of shoot-em-up car-chase movies.

Foire du Trône - one of Paris' annual fun fairs, with rides, cotton-candy, popcorn, and noise, with bumper-cars and everything else that'll have you upsidedown and the change falling out of your pockets. Until Monday, 8. May. From Monday toposter: printemps des musees Thursday, 12:00 to midnight; Friday, Saturday and holidays eves, from 12:00 to 01:00. Pélouse de Reuilly, Paris 12. Métro: Porte-Dorée or Porte-de-Charenton. No entry charge.

Reverse Roller Coaster - Starting on April Fool's Day, you can take a ride on what appears to be a roller coaster, at Disneyland. Six years in the making, six months to put together, a crew of 60; for 'Indiana Jones,' and 110 seconds of backwards thrills. Maybe it's a time machine? In French it is called the 'Montagnes Russes' and they were a big hit 100 years ago. At Disneyland Paris, Marne-la-Vallée. RER line 'A4.'

2000 Nains à Bagatelle - aka Nutville in the Bushes, with a bagatelle of 2K of garden dwarfs - gartenzwergs to you, Emile. For their first real exhibition in France, this is not all kitsch - early zwergs were modelled after court entertainers - and a Metropole reader was looking for one modelled after his late great-great-great-great-grandfather, last seen at the Château de Suresnes around 1715. We couldn't find him - even the château is gone - but we didn't give up and now here's another chance. Except Tuesdays, open daily from 11:00 to 18:00. Until Sunday, 23. July. Bagatelle, Route de Neuilly, in the Bois de Boulogne, Paris 16. Nearest métro: Pont de Neuilly, or bus 43. Park entry: 10 francs.

Faux Frère(s) - is a caustic comedy about two guys who haven't seen each other for 15 years, and are wondering why they're playing in this piece until Saturday, 13. May. Featuring Pierre-Olivier Scotto and Thierry Beccaro; directed by Martine Feldman. Music: Les Beatles. At Kiron Espace, 10. Rue La Vacquerie, Paris 11. Métro: Voltaire. Info. Tel.: 01 44 64 11 50.

Le Banquet de la Sainte Cécile - has played 500 times in the provinces, but I still don't know what it's about - except it features Jean-Pierre Bodin, who I don't know either. Until Monday, 8. May. Most nights at 21:00, Saturday and Sunday at 16:00; no shows Tuesday and Wednesday. At L'Européen, 5. Rue Biot, Paris 17. Métro: Place de Clichy. Info. Tel.: 01 43 87 97 13.

Freebie Day - the 'Printemps des Musées 2000' happens on Sunday, 2. April and it means most museums in France will let you enter for free. For its 2nd year, this event has a theme and it is 'Europe.' Other museums are lending France some of their good stuff for this. The Min of Cult has a full program and possibly the names and addresses of all this free stuff.

Vaux Le Vicomte - is supposed to have inspired Versailles, but unlike Versailles escaped the Révolution and remains in private hands. Built in 1661 and it looks brand-new. Nicolas Fouquet had it built, but big Louis got jealous of its splendorposter: augustin dupre, carnavalet and locked the poor guy up for life. Open from 10:00 to 18:00. Check the Vaux Le Vicomte Web site for transport details. Info. Tel.: 01 64 14 41 90.

Augustin Dupré - was the chief engraver for the Monnaies de France. An exhibition of his work can be seen, starting Saturday, 1. April, until Sunday, 11. June; from 10:00 to 17:40; at the Musée Carnavalet - Historie de Paris, 23. Rue de Sévigné, Paris 3. Métro: Saint-Paul or Chemin-Vert. Info. Tel.: 01 44 59 58 58.

Sketch for a stamp, 1797.©Musée Carnavalet

L'Art du Billet, 1800 - 2000 - if you like money even if it's 200 years old - or brand-new, see this exhibition of the collection of the Banque de France. Also starting Saturday, 1. April, until Sunday, 11. June; from 10:00 to 17:40; at the Musée Carnavalet - Historie de Paris, 23. Rue de Sévigné, Paris 3. Métro: Saint-Paul or Chemin-Vert. Info. Tel.: 01 44 59 58 58.

Monnaies, Médailles, Antiques - are part of the permanent collection, which have their own department; which also includes a library of 60,000 volumes, at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. The museum of this department is open to the public from Monday to Friday, from 13:00 to 17:45; on Saturday from 13:00 to 16:45 and on Sunday from 12:00 to 18:00. Groups need reservations. BNF, 58. Rue de Richelieu, Paris 2. Métro: Bourse. Info. Tel.: 01 47 03 83 40.

Software and Hardware - the digital world moves into Paris Expo with seven different trade shows, all starting on Tuesday, 28. March and all ending on Wednesday, 3. April. Telecoms, DTP, CAD, Online, and software make up a part of the palette. All the expos have two organizers, either Infopromotions or BIRP. Paris-Expo, Porte de Versailles.

Salon de la Maquette - has now got a spiffier name which is also longer - 'Mondial de la Maquettte et Modèle Réduit,' with 'Salon des Jeux.' In other words, Paris' annual model and games show. This starts on Saturday, 1. April and continues until Sunday, 9. April. This salon also has a Web site. Paris-Expo, Porte de Versailles.

Rokia Traoré - has two dates for concerts, on Wednesday, 29 and Thursday, 30. March; at 20:30. At the Café de la Danse, 5. Passage Louis Philippe - off the Rue de Lappe - Paris 11. Métro: Bastille. Info. Tel.: 01 47 0057 59.

The Month of British Theatre - 'Londres sur Seine' has begun and will run in three Paris theatres: Théâtre Silvia Montfort, Info. Tel.: 01 43 13 50 60; atposter: l'art du billet, carnavalet the Cité Internationale, Info. Tel.: 01 45 33 66 70; and Paris Villette, Info. Tel.: 01 42 02 02 68. Programmed for Silvia Montfort: 'East' by Steven Berkof; 'The Importance of Being Ernest' by Oscar Wilde; 'Sell Out' by Michael Wynne and 'Some Explicit Polaroids' by Mark Ravenhill. 'Operation Made In Britain' - in French - is scheduled for the Cité Universitaire, and 'La Terrible Voix de Satan' by Gregory Motton will play at Paris-Villette.

Les Ailes du Monde - is the name for the March program at the Glaz'Art centre for concerts, multimedia and other acts - such as the Ukulele Club de Paris, which will be playing on Thursday, 30. March at 20:30. Glaz'Art, 7 to 15. Avenue de la Porte de la Villette, Paris 19. Métro: Porte de la Villette. Info. Tel.: 01 40 36 55 65.

This item closes the opening 'new' events for this week. You will find some other new items below. Again, lack of time has not permitted me to form a text to go with each of the images - but they do represent current events in Paris.

Ain't Misbehavin' - is also called 'The Fats Waller Show.' This show, based on the 'success' of Thomas 'Fats' Waller, won three Tonys. The flat note here, is that this show doesn't show up until Thursday, 30. March, when it begins a four-day stand in Paris. Info. Tel.: 03 89 64 21 36, and tickets at the usual places.

Natalie Lamotte - is a strong painter who seems to mix organic shapes with external objects, with colors like hammers. See her exhibit from Tuesday, 28. March until Thursday, 20. April, Monday to Friday, from 10:00 to 19:00 at the Espace Paul Ricard, 9. Rue Royale, Paris 8. This is located in a mall de luxe; go straight in until you see the Paul Ricard sign. Info. Tel.: 01 53 30 99 00.

This coming spring, 30 centuries of Mexican art will take over from Brazil Baroque, also in 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. Info. Tel.: 01 42 65 12 73.

Musée Bouchard - here I am mentioning a sculptor whose work I've never seen and who died in 1960. 'Bouchard et la Bourgogne' begins on Saturday, 15. April, to run until 13. September. Open from Wednesday to Saturday, from 14:00 to 19:00. At the Musée Bouchard, 25. Rue de l'Yvette, Paris 16. Métro: Jasmin. Info. Tel.: 01 46 47 63 46.

1900 - The last turn of the century lasted from 1895 until 1905 and I expect ours will go on for another five years too. One hundred years ago Europe was booming along industrially, and art was booming too, and plants were an inspiration.

This exhibition of things '1900' is like looking in your great-grandparent's attic; all of it too 'Mucha.' A must-see. Until Monday, 26. June. Open daily except Tuesdays, from 10:00 to 20:00, on Thursday until 22:00. Morning entries by reservation; after 13:00, at the door. Closed Monday, 1. May. At the Grand Palais, 3. Avenue du Général-Eisenhower, Square Jean-Perrin, Paris 8. Métro: Clemenceau. Info. Tel.: 01 44 13 17 10.

Droit de Cité Pour la Presse - is subtitled 'Liberté à la Une' - Freedom for the Front Page. This is an exhibition entirely devoted to the idea of the right to access information and freedom of expressing it. Historically it passes from Théophraste Renaudot's 'La Gazette' to the Internet of our times. Until Monday, 15. May, at the Palais-Brongniart, which is also known as the Bourse de Paris. Daily from 10:00 to 19:00. Métro: Bourse. No entry charge. Conferences and hands-on demos. Featured in Metropole in this issue.

Oser Le Savoir - which translates as 'Dare to Know,' features '10 keys to the future' which will be presented with exhibitions and debates, from February until the end of the year. This takes place, in cooperation with the CNRS, at the Cité des Sciences & de l'Industrie at La Villette. 30. Avenue Corentin-Cariou, Paris 19. Info. Tel.: 0140 05 80 00.

Etienne-Jules Marey - was an all-round scientist during the last part of the 19th century and the Espace Electra has teamed up with the Cinémathèque Français to put on an exhibition, tracing Marey's history. At the Espace Electra, 6. Rue Récamier, Paris 7. Open daily except Monday, from 12:00 to 19:00. Métro: Sèvres-Babylone. Info. Tel.: 01 53 63 23 45.

Trésors des Arts Asiatiques - is from the collection of Mr and Mrs John D. Rockerfeller III, which is now managed by the Asia Society. Thisposter: faux freres, espace kiron show features 81 major pieces from the entire collection, and comes to Paris after being shown in Melbourne, Sydney and Shanghai. This show continues until Sunday, 14. May. It can be seen daily except Mondays, from 10:00 to 17:40, at the Musée Cernuschi, 7. Avenue Vélasquez, Paris 8. Métro: Monceau or Villiers. Info. Tel.: 01 45 63 50 75.

L'Epopée des Heike - is something not to miss. History in the form of 250 sculptures of exquisite paper, carefully folded by hand. Until Saturday, 13. May; Tuesday to Saturday, from 12:00 to 19:00 and on Thursdays until 20:00. On display now at the Maison de la Culture du Japon, 101. Quai Branly, Paris 15. Métro: Bir-Hakeim. Info. Tel.: 01 44 37 95 00.

Carpeaux Painter - Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux was a famous sculptor who died in 1875 without telling anybody he was a painter too. Discovered 19 years after his death, his secret was revealed and 90 of his works are on display now, but only until Sunday, 2. April. Except Monday, daily from 11:00 to 18:00, and on Thursday until 20:00. At the Musée du Luxembourg, 19. Rue de Vaugiraud, Paris 6. Métro: Odéon or RER 'B' Luxembourg.

Portrait of Mexico - as part of the '2000 in Paris' salute to the new world of the Americas, a film history of Mexico is a current attraction at the Forum des Images-Vidéothèque. This is in the Forum des Halles, by the Porte Saint-Eustache entry, Paris 1. Info. Tel.: 01 44 76 62 00.

Imaï, la Guerre et la Paix - is an exhibition by the Japanese artist Imaï, who mixes Japan with the west, in Europe and in America. Several of his works are in the permanent collection at the Pompidou Centre. On show, his latest works, from 1992 to today. At the Couvent des Cordeliers, 15. Rue de l'Ecole de Médecine; Paris 6. Métro: Cluny or Odéon. Open from 11:00 to 19:00 - except Mondays. Until Wednesday, 5. April. Info. Tel.: 01 40 46 05 47.

Natures En Tête - shows other ways of looking at nature, and includes some animations - also with a theatre for children, and debates. Until Monday, 22. May, inphoto: halle saint pierre the Galerie de Botanique, at the Jardin des Plantes, 18. Rue Buffon, Paris 5. Métro; Jussieu, Gare d'Austerlitz or Censier-Daubenton. Info. Tel.: 01

The Halle Saint-Pierre.

Haiti - Anges et Démons - plus voodoo graffiti, Holy Sun, metal Ogou, and contemporary 'magic' - in 300 pieces done between 1945 and today. 'Magic painting,' according to André Malraux. Until Friday, 30. June; from 10:00 to 19:00, daily. At the Halle Saint-Pierre, 2. Rue Ronsard, Paris 18. Métro Anvers. Info. Tel.: 01 42 58 72 89.

The Musée de la Poupée - the Paris' doll museum has two temporary exhibitions of dolls coming soon. One will show communion and marriage costumes. This continues until Monday, 12. June. 'Gene' is another doll, younger and bigger than Barbie, based on Gene Tierney or Greta Garbo. 'Gene à Paris' will feature 50 dolls in an exhibition, which ends on Sunday, 4. June.

Musée de la Poupée, Impasse Berthaud, Paris 3. Métro: Rambuteau. Except Monday, open daily from 10:00 to 18:00. Boutique next door. Info. Tel.: 01 42 72 73 11.

Les Grands Boulevards - are getting a constant drumroll these days and now an exhibition too. From Monday to Friday; from 12:00 to 18:00. Until Friday, 28. April, at the Mairie of the 9th arrondissement, 6. Rue Drouot, Paris 9. Métro: Richelieu-Drouot.

Les Ponts de Paris - Parisians can't get enough of the Seine's bridges even though there are plenty of them; so here is another exhibition - about which I'm short of details. On weekdays, until Tuesday, 11. April; from 12:00 to 18:00. At the Mairie of the XIII, 1. Place d'Italie, Paris 13. Métro: Place d'Italie. Produced by Paris' Action Artistique.

Zingg - died in 1942 and for the first time this painter's sketches and designs are being shown to the public. See the feature in Metropole. Until Friday, 21. April; from Tuesday to Friday, from 12:30 to 18:30, and by rendez-vous. At L'Atelier An. Girard, 7. Rue Campagne Première, Paris 4. Info. Tel.: 01 43 22 01 16.


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