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  • Originally published 12/16/2014

    France Confronts an Ignoble Chapter

    In Paris, an exhibition at the National Archives looks at French people who were genuine supporters of the Nazis during World War II.

  • Originally published 12/16/2014

    A History of Paris in 150 Photographs

    A new exhibit claims to present the social history of Paris as seen through the lens of Magnum photographers over the past century. 

  • Originally published 08/07/2013

    Tower at heart of Paris opens to the public for the first time

    The Eiffel Tower has a new rival, five centuries old.For the first time since it was built in the early 1500s, the Tour Saint Jacques,  a mysterious stand-alone Gothic tower in the geometric centre of Paris, is opening to the public this summer.The 170ft-high tower, long surrounded by myths and legends, has literary connections ranging from Alexandre Dumas to Marcel Proust. It was used by the writer and scientist Blaise Pascal to experiment with atmospheric pressure  and weights a century before Isaac Newton developed his theory of gravity....

  • Originally published 06/18/2013

    Niall Ferguson: Paris could burn this summer

    High youth unemployment in Europe and disappointing growth expectations in the emerging world could mean more mass protests like the ones seen in Brazil, Niall Ferguson told CNBC's "Power Lunch" on Tuesday."There are two kinds of city that we could see burn this summer," Ferguson said. "The big European cities with Paris at the top of the list look extremely vulnerable. Paris has a greater tradition of urban rioting than almost any city in the world."Ferguson, a Harvard University professor, said the French economy is bad and "the youth unemployment problem right across Latin Europe is really an explosion waiting to go off."...

  • Originally published 06/10/2013

    Paris museum commemorates Palestinian suicide bombers

    A government-subsidized museum in Paris has opened a photography exhibition of Palestinian suicide bombers, remembering them as freedom fighters, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported Friday.The exhibition, “Death” by Ahlam Shibli, opened on May 28 at the Jeu de Paume museum of contemporary art.The museum’s website describes the people pictured as “those who lost their lives fighting against the occupation,” and the exhibition as being about “the efforts of Palestinian society to preserve their presence,” the JTA reported....

  • Originally published 06/06/2013

    Piece of Berlin Wall up for auction

    PARIS — Pieces of the Iron Curtain’s most iconic symbol, the Berlin Wall, are being put up for auction in Paris after being decorated by some of the world’s top artists.Slabs of the smooth concrete that divided East and West Berlin from 1961 until 1989 totaling 60 meters (66 yards) were given to artists including France’s Daniel Buren and the late Eduardo Chillida of Spain in the 1990s to be used as canvases.The result of their unique work is going under the hammer in central Paris on Thursday, under the title “Artists of Freedom.”...

  • Originally published 05/13/2013

    Inside 70-year-old Paris apartment

    Caked in dust and full of turn-of-the century treasures, this Paris apartment is like going back in time.Having lain untouched for seven decades the abandoned home was discovered three years ago after its owner died aged 91.The woman who owned the flat, a Mrs De Florian, had fled for the south of France before the outbreak of the Second World War.She never returned and in the 70 years since, it looks like no-one had set foot inside....

  • Originally published 03/28/2013

    Nelson's uniform on display in Paris

    As soon as the travelling crate was opened and the shroud of white tissue paper carefully peeled away, it was clear there was damage to the dark blue coat: a hole in the left shoulder, and some of the gold braid on the epaulette torn away. The damage happened more than two centuries ago, and the coat's arrival in France was one of the most unusual days in the history of the National Maritime Museum, in Greenwich, south London, and the Musée de l'Armée, at Les Invalides in Paris."I think it's a wonder," said Emelie Robbe, a curator of the Paris museum's new exhibition on Napoleon and Europe. "It is astonishing that it should be here."The coat, an undress uniform of the Royal Navy, already slightly old fashioned when it was made in the late 18th century, had never left England since 1805, when it came back in a sea chest on the same ship that carried the body of Horatio Nelson preserved in a barrel of brandy. It has now voyaged again, through the Channel tunnel, into the heart of his enemy's empire....

  • Originally published 02/13/2013

    France takes step back in history

    ...And, much as President François Hollande of France denies that his country is still the gendarme of francophone Africa, the columns of French soldiers and planeloads of paratroops embroiled in the newest fighting recall much earlier campaigns.“There was a time when General Faidherbe pursued armed bands attacking the forts of the Sahel, and even then they professed radical Islam,” Bertrand Badie, a political science scholar in Paris, wrote in Le Monde, referring to Gen. Louis Faidherbe, who played a central role in solidifying French interests in the broad swath of desert known as the Sahel in the 19th century. “What have we done since then?”

  • Originally published 02/05/2013

    New Notre Dame bells make harmonious history in Paris’ storied Cathedral

    PARIS — The cathedral of Notre Dame — French for “our lady” — has finally got the prima donna worthy of its name.Weighing in at six and a half tons or 6,000 kilograms of glistening bronze, this lady is no ordinary person: she’s a bell named Mary.Mary is in fact the largest — and loudest — of nine new, gargantuan Notre Dame bells being blessed Saturday in the cathedral’s nave by Archbishop Andre Armand Vingt-Trois....

  • Originally published 01/28/2013

    17th-century masterpiece discovered at the Ritz in Paris

    PARIS – The Hôtel Ritz Paris, famous for its bar, its swimming pool and its assignations, had a treasure hiding in plain sight, an exceptional painting that had been hanging on a wall for decades without anyone paying it the least attention.With the hotel shut for renovation, the auction house Christie’s announced this week that art experts had decided that the long-ignored canvas was by Charles Le Brun, one of the masters of 17th-century French painting, and that it would be put it up for auction....

  • Originally published 01/19/2013

    "Phantom of the Opera" Showcases Rich Parisian History

    Phantom of the Opera Majestic Theater 247 W. 44th Street New York, N.Y.The Phantom of the Opera, the longest-running play in American history, celebrates its 25th anniversary in New York Saturday night. There will once again be “oohs” and “aahs” when the huge chandelier falls on stage, scary moments when the Phantom threatens people and, start to finish, some of the most luscious music ever written for the stage.Theatergoers will see the enchanting musical, as good as ever after all these years, and shudder as the ogrish Phantom takes the beautiful actress Christine across the foreboding lake beneath the Paris Opera House to his lair. They will revel in French history, with all of its odd turns, that set the stage for the 1911 novel Le Fantome de L’Opera, by Gaston Leroux, and the hit 1925 silent movie version of it, starring the hideously made up Lon Chaney. While it was Andrew Lloyd Webber’s wonderful music, and the character of the Phantom, that made the musical so successful, it was the history that always gave it strength, whether in 1925 movie theaters or in the 148 cities in 28 countries where the musical has been staged.

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