Marie Antoinette's refuge at Versailles reopens

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VERSAILLES, France -- The Petit Trianon was Marie Antoinette's refuge, the mini-chateau where she escaped from queenly protocol and played at living a simpler life. Curators who oversaw its renovation have tried to recreate that intimate atmosphere.

The boxy neoclassical building on the grounds of the immense chateau at Versailles reopened Wednesday after a yearlong, $7.34 million renovation funded by Swiss watchmaker Breguet, which once made a timepiece for the queen...

Curators said they wanted to avoid a stuffy museum feel, making it seem as though the 18th-century French queen and her entourage had just stepped away for a moment.

Instead of glass cases to hold period china, for example, curators had cupboards rebuilt in keeping with period plans. They restored servants' quarters, giving a clearer idea of how royalty and their help would have interacted.

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