|The Independent Traveler's Newsletter PAGE TWO|
|Gifts from France|
At one time or another, we are all faced with the dilemma of what gifts to buy for friends or family when visiting France. We have some suggestions that won't add weight to or take up too much space in your already over-stuffed luggage, won't break your travel budget, and which are unique enough to please almost everyone. So, forget the T-shirts that say 'Paris' in sparkling letters or the bottle of French wine that has to be carefully tended while in transit and can possibly be found in a good wine shop back home. Look for useful, enjoyable, easy-to-pack and carry, often inexpensive items. By the way, these make great remembrances of France for yourself, too! Here are some suggestions:
Ici et Là
is intended to advise you about cultural events, news and happenings
o Renoir and His Circle: Works on Paper, Paintings and Sculpture from an Intimate Private Collection - a special exhibit of August Renoir's social life and art including, in addition to well-known subjects of the artist, portraits of his family and friends. This exhibit will continue through July 11, 2004 at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, California.
o Gauguin in Tahiti - through June 20 at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts.
o Van Gogh to Mondrian: Modern Art from the Kröller-Müller Museum May 29 through September 12 at the Seattle Art Museum, Washington.
o Monet to Matisse: The Triumph of Impressionism and the Avant-Garde - through December 2004 at the Columbus Museum of Art, Ohio.
o Cyrano - A world premiere adaptation of the famous romantic tale, this play will run through June 27 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. For details http://www.courttheatre.org.
o Club France - Club France is a network of travel partners wholly committed to providing a personalized welcome and special service to its card carrying members. That includes offering members discounts of up to 50%, gifts and other bonuses. With more than 1000 partners, from hotels and car rentals to museums and cultural institutions offering members VIP treatment, Club France is sponsored by the French Government Tourist Office. Available to residents of the United States, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Canada, Brazil, Spain, Ireland and Italy, joining on line is easy. Click here to learn how to become a member for only $25 a year and to read about the special benefits of membership.
o The Caen Memorial - Members of Club France will receive a 15% discount on its combined ticket for the Memorial visit and a guided tour of the D-Day landing beaches. The regular price is 67 euros – the Club France member rate is 55.20 euros. Click here to visit the Memorial's web site in both French and English.
o In Paris - the Spring Menu at Alain Ducasse highlights flavors and fragrances from garden or woods around genuine products such as the green asparagus of Pertuis, the purple Provence artichoke and the brown or blond morel. Alain Ducasse and Christophe Moret feature traditional French cuisine and plats à partager, or dishes to share. The Cour Jardin, the summer restaurant of the Hôtel Plaza Athénée, opened its terrace on May 25th to all sun worshipers and Mediterranean cuisine connoisseurs. For more information on Alain Ducasse visit www.alain-ducasse.com or call the restaurant at +33 (0)1 53 67 65 00. Alain Ducasse is located at the Plaza Athénée at 25, avenue Montaigne. The restaurant is open for lunch on Thursdays and Fridays from 12:45-2:15 pm and from dinner Monday through Friday from 7:45-10:15 pm. [Courtesy French Government Tourist Office]
o So French - is a personal shopping service in Paris if you are looking for fine and decorative arts. Elizabeth de Kergorlay, formerly of Christie's Paris [and whose close relative owns the magnificent Château de Canisy in Normandy] or an expert on her staff will take you to all the places only the insiders know. You could come away with finds from out-of-the-way art galleries, flea markets and antique stores. Spend a half or whole day with someone from So French who can haggle sellers down to the best price on your behalf -- and have lots of fun along the way! To contact So French, please visit their web site at http://sofrench-paris.com.
o Art Deco: The French Aesthetic - presented by the Minneapolis Institute of Arts through October 2004.
o Airport Tragedy - It is predicted that Terminal 2E at Charles DeGaulle International Airport will remain closed for up to one year with the possibility that the entire structure might be torn down, especially after more cracking sounds were heard in the days following the tragic collapse of part of the structure killing four people. As a criminal inquiry gets underway, the investigators' goal is to determine whether the collapse was caused by design flaw or faulty construction. The terminal was used by Delta Airlines and Air France whose flights will be redirected to other terminals at the airport.
o Wine in the News - Château d'Yquem, considered the best Sauternes in the world, has lost the man at the helm -- and the vineyard had been in his family since the late 1500s. After a brother and other relatives sold 63% of Château d'Yquem in 1999 to LVMH (Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton) after a dispute with Chief Executive Comte Alexandre de Lur Saluces, things did not go smoothly. The Board of Directors lowered the retirement age to 70 to force the Comte out -- he turned 70 in May. He will retain the title of "Honorary Chairman", but the dynasty has certainly ended. The French wine community is debating whether quality will be maintained in the hands of a conglomerate and under the chairmanship of Bernard Arnault of LVMH. Only time will tell. The first owners had over 400 years to prove themselves!
Renaissance Art Investigation - The Cantor Arts Center at Stanford
University, California, presents "Finding Sellaio: Conserving and
Attributing a Renaissance Painting" from August 4 through November 28,
2004, revealing how modern analytical technologies, providing evidence
not visible to the unaided eye, enhance traditional art historical research
methods. The case study focuses on Virgin and Child with Saint
John (c. 1480-85) attributed to the Florentine artist Jacopo del Sellaio
(1441-1493). Using techniques such as infrared reflectography, X-radiography,
and paint sample analysis this study demonstrates what may be learned about
a work of art when augmenting the use of stylistic analysis developed during
the late 19th century. Included in the exhibit will be a display
of Renaissance painting materials. While at Stanford, please be sure
to visit the Rodin Sculpture Garden and exhibitions in their 24 other galleries.
On the web at http://www.stanford.edu/dept/ccva/.
D-Day Thanks and Remembrances
The French Government Tourist Office Director included this message in their May newsletter:
"Dear Friends, On the eve of the 60th Anniversary of D-Day, I wish to express our gratitude and thanks on behalf France and the French people to the brave American soldiers who liberated France and Europe. We extend to veterans, their families and fellow Americans a warm and heartfelt welcome to France for this very moving event. If you can't make it for the anniversary we hope to welcome you very soon. We will always say "Bienvenue en France et merci." Jean-Philippe Pérol, Director, Americas - Maison de la France/French Government Tourist Office
We appreciate Monsieur Pérol's kind words, and thank the French Government Tourist Office for providing us with the following -- also in connection with this important anniversary.
In the year 2000, Patrick Daudon and Charles Valot launched a project to create in Normandy a replica of the Liberty Bell from Philadelphia. The Normandy Regional Council through «Normandie Mémoire » (the association coordinating all events regarding 60th Anniversary), commissioned this project at the end of 2003.
The Cornille Havard Bell Foundry suggested creating a sounding replica of the Liberty Bell, which because of the crack it suffered in the 1830s could not produce its original sound. So, in February of 2004, the Foundry took precise measurements of the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia using laser scanning technology to create a 3-dimensional "map" of the original bell. Following the re-creation of the original cast of the Liberty Bell to render the bell's original sounds, the Foundry began the traditional molding process using clay, goat hair and horse manure as Pass & Stow from Boston had done in 1753.
After two and a half months of work, the bell was cast in bronze on May 19th in Cornille Havard's historic workshop in Villedieu-les-Poêles, Normandy, France. By using one of the most important symbols of America's heritage, the project underscores the importance of exchanges between America and France. Americans are invited to come and discover or rediscover France -- especially Normandy, Land of Freedom, thanks to the bravery and sacrifice of its soldiers.
The Normandy Liberty Bell will be dedicated on June 6th 2004 in the Normandy Regional Council by a representative of Philadelphia who will ring the bell 12 times for I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-CE and 7 times for L-I-B-E-R-T-Y as Bernard Samuel, the Mayor of Philadelphia did on the Liberty Bell on June 6, 1944, the morning of the D-Day Landing.
** To view
a 20-minute film, Operation Open Arms, on your computer, just click
The French Government Tourist Office/Maison de la France and the Normandy
Tourist Board have produced the film to honor the veterans of the D-Day
landings and invite Americans to Normandy.
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