Rand African Art
About Me - Photo Version
PARIS! - 2006
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We would like to thank our friend Vero for joining us on our first day in Paris to show us around! She asked that her
photo not be published on the Internet so I have blurred her face out in the photos. Vero and her husband are also
Tribal art collectors and this was the first time I had met her in person. They live in Africa for about 10 months out of the
year and then Paris for the other 2. From the stories she told me about where she lives in Africa, being back in Paris for
a few months must be like being in another world. We would also like to thank our friend Estelle who lives in France
and flew in to meet up with us and walk around Parcours des Mondes with us, she is a fellow African art collector and a
great friend, this was also the first time I had met her in person as well. They both were incredibly nice to spend time
with us and show us around and I would like to thank them very much for making our Paris a very memorable one!

Vero met us at our hotel right after we got in and took us for coffee so we could sit down and talk about Paris and what
we wanted to see and she also gave us a few French lessons. I butcher anything I say in French so needless to say I
failed. Jerome on the other hand did very well. Our hotel was on the Left Bank (Rive Gauche) in the
St-Germain-des-Pres District of Paris. We walked across the bridge over the Seine to the Louvre.
The 2 photos above were taken from the wooden bridge that runs
between the Louvre (top photo) and the Institut de France (lower)
At night on the weekend this bridge was filled with people just sitting
around on blankets drinking wine and eating and socializing.
The view in the 2 photos above is looking over to the island (Île de la
Cité) that Notre Dame is on. The boats on the right hand side of the
photo are actually homes. People live up and down the river in these
boats and apparently don't have to pay taxes. There were some pretty
interesting "homes" on the river.
One thing I didn't know about the Louvre was that it was so HUGE! The Louvre Museum (Musée du Louvre) is the largest museum in the world. I also
didn't know that it was previously a palace. It's an incredible structure and I can only imagine what it was like during it's prime. Apparently the construction
of the existing Louvre started in 1535 A.D. and continued over the next
341 years until (I believe) the last addition was finished in 1876 A.D. The
pyramids in the courtyard were added in 1989. You can find a lot of photos and history on the Louvre on
Wikipedia if you are interested, the history is
pretty fascinating.

Photo source (above) http://patrick.verdier.free.fr/
We arrived in the Louvre in the Pavillion de l'horloge (above right) and then walked into the Pavillion Sully where the pyramids are.
The Louvre was closed the day we were there but we weren't planning on going in this first day
anyway. After you leave the area of the Louvre you pass through the Arc de Triomphe du
Carrousel. The arch was built between 1806-1808 by the Emperor Napoleon I on the model of
the Arch of Septimus Severus in Rome. It was commissioned to commemorate France's military
victories in 1805. It was originally surmounted by the famous
horses of Saint Mark's Cathedral
in Venice, looted by Napoleon, but these were returned there in 1815.
(Above) Place de la Concorde in 1885. The
Palais Bourbon can be seen in the
background, beyond the River Seine

(Right) The Place de la Concorde now. The
center of the Place is occupied by a giant
Egyptian obelisk decorated with hieroglyphics
exalting the reign of the pharaoh Ramses II. It
once marked the entrance to the Luxor
Temple. The viceroy of Egypt, Mehemet Ali,
presented the 3,300-year-old Luxor Obelisk to
France in 1829. King Louis-Philippe had it
placed in the centre of Place de la Concorde
in 1833.
Vero says she will often ask people what they think the oldest outdoor structure in Paris is.
They name off various buildings, but in fact the oldest structure in Paris is most likely this
obelisk from Egypt.
Next Vero took us to see the trendy Buddha Bar off of the Place de la
Concorde that is across from the American Embassy (below)
Above and below are photos of the Grand Palais. The Grand Palais ("Grand Palace") is a large glass exhibition hall that was built for the Paris
Exhibition of 1900. The building was closed for 12 years for extensive restoration work after one of the glass ceiling panels fell in 1993. It reopened in
September 2005.

CLICK HERE to go to a page with lots of photographs of this impressive building.
2 photos above are from Wikipedia
At the end of our walk away from the Louvre was the Arc de Triomphe.

From Wikipedia:
"The Arc de Triomphe is a monument in Paris that stands in the centre of the Place de l'Étoile, at the western end of the Champs-Élysées. It is the
linchpin of the historic axis (L'Axe historique) leading from the courtyard of the Louvre Palace, a sequence of monuments and grand thoroughfares on
a route leading out of Paris. The monument's iconographic program pitted heroically nude French youths against bearded Germanic warriors in chain
mail and set the tone for public monuments with triumphant nationalistic messages until World War I.

The monument stands over 51 metres (165 feet) in height and is 45 metres wide. It is the second largest triumphal arch in existence (North Korea built
a slightly larger Arch of Triumph in 1982 for the 70th birthday of Kim Il-Sung); the Arc de Triomphe is so colossal that an early daredevil flew his plane
through it.

It was commissioned in 1806 after the victory at Austerlitz by Emperor Napoleon I at the peak of his fortunes. Laying the foundations alone took two
years, and in 1810 when Napoleon entered Paris from the west with his bride Archduchess Marie-Louise of Austria, he had a wooden mock-up of the
completed arch constructed. Chalgrin died in 1811, and the work was taken over by Huyon. During the Restoration construction was halted, and would
not be completed until the reign of King Louis-Philippe, in 1833-36."
Everywhere in Paris you would see these "Smart" cars. The photo on the left is unusual
because you have a large BMW and a station wagon on either side of one with tons of room in
between the cars, usually it is a bunch of Smart cars parked 2 inches from each other!

CLICK HERE to go to PAGE 2 of the Paris photos
(Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and more)
Estelle and me
Vero and me
Jerome and me