Sketchy 'euro' Report

photo: fouquet's, champs elysees, av george v

Fouquet's, on the Champs-Elysées, is only featured
here on cloudy days - like last Friday.

Christmas 2001 - Fin

Paris:- Monday, 4. February 2002:- I have only heard a sketchy report by the Ministry of Finance on radio France-Info this morning - Tuesday, because this column is a day late - saying that after 35 days the euro has not caused the collapse of the French part of the funky Western world.

By this, inflation is meant to be under control. There were worries that everybody would get all mixed up making the simplest transactions, and this could lead to an increase in inflation.

Like many if not most other residents, I switched exclusively to the euro right at the beginning. I will not be able to make any conclusions of my own until I get my January bank statement in the next day or two.

I think, like many other people, that the small denomination euros seem to slip through the fingers with amazing velocity. A 10 or 20euro 3 sign note does not last long, and it is a bit difficult to get used to a 50-cent piece being worth what was formerly about 3.27 francs.

The initial dismay of waiters with a fall-off in tips seems have been balanced out over the month. But taxi drivers tied north Paris into knots last Wednesday to protest again a rise in the rents they pay for taxis.

Will the Real Dora Maar Stand Up?

Residents of Saint-German-des-Prés are in a turmoil about the Dora Maar statue done by Picasso that has returned to its base in the Square Laurent-Prache after a long vacation in front of the Mairie d'Osny in the Val-de-Oise department.

The statue was stolen during thephoto: man ray's atelier, montparnasse night of Tuesday-Wednesday, 30 or 31. March 1999. It turned up a month later as an 'art object' at Osny's Hôtel de Ville, and it was some time before an expert recognized it for what it is.

Lacking an original photo of Dora Maar, this photo of Man Ray's studio building is a substitute.

But residents are now saying that the bust that was returned to its place in the Quartier Latin on Monday, 17. December of last year, is a fake.

Picasso's son Claude, says he has no reason to doubt the authenticity of the statue, which has been restored before regaining its proper place.

There are only four existing examples of the work and the molds for it are kept at a museum in Cologne. None of this has satisfied some dissidents at Saint-Germain, but at the arrondissement's mairie there is no doubt that the real Dora Maar is back.

Who's Afraid of the Technoparade?

Last year's Technoparade, scheduled for the Champ de Mars over the protests of residents, was eventually canceled because of the events in the United States on 11. September.

The organizers of this year's Technoparade, scheduled for Sunday, 15. September, have had a whole nine months to lay their plans before the Préfecture of Police to get a new permit.

The residents of the fine apartment buildings surrounding the large, open park, are still fumingphoto: old windows, shutters about Johnny Hallyday's concert and still upset about the show the 'Three Tenors' put on. They even want the damage caused to the park by the storm in December of 1999 fixed up.

Windows like these do not overlook the Champ de Mars.

Even the most 'avant-garde' residents are choking over the idea of seeing 'monokinis' under their noses, in the shade of the Tour Eiffel and the Ecole Militaire. They suggest this sort of spectacle would suit the Champs-Elysées far better.

Bill Gates' 'Corbis' - Update

Last week I mentioned the Galerie Victor Sfez and its exhibition-sale of photographs by 42 news photographers who have been canned by the Corbis-Sygma photo agency, owned by the mega-conglomo controlled by Bill Gates.

According to a new report the 42 photographers concerned were salaried employees, but were asked to accept 'freelance' contracts. They are now on strike while negotiating with the firm over details of their severance packages.

The reason French photographers are not too eager to accept any sort of salaried or 'freelance' contract with Corbis-Sygma is the differences in how author's rights are treated in France and in the United States.

In Europe, in general, the 'author' retains the rights to works he or she has created, and only 'rents' the work for specific uses.

The custom in the United States is to buy the work outright, so the company can market the work in any it chooses. There are recurring battles in the US audio-visual industry, where creative workers demand shares of residual returns from re-sold rights.

Corbis-Sygma is supposedly losing money and wants to shed employes or turn them into freelance 'contractors,' but only with their US-version of the ownership rights.


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