Saturday 12 March 2011


I'm very fortunate to have spent three years living near Paris and so I've seen everything on this card for myself.
1. Centre National d'Art et de Culture George Pompidou, (Architects: R. Piano, R. Rogers, G. Franchini)
2. Le Musée d'Orsay
3. Etablissment Public du Grand Louvre et la Pyramide (Architecte: Ieoh Ming Pei)
4. La Joconde
I must confess that three of the four left me, if not cold, then lukewarm.  The Pompidou Centre is not lovely to my eye;  the Pyramid at the entrance to the Louvre seems incongruous but I accept that it does allow more light inside;  the Mona Lisa was smaller than I expected, behind a glass screen, and seemed ordinary to me.

I know, I know, I know.  Sacrilege.  But I think the Musée d'Orsay is wonderful, and will do so forever.
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  1. Back in the late 1950s when I was in the Army we were stationed just outside Versailles with free transport into Paris available 24 hours a day. The Pompidou Centre didn't exist then. The steel structure is made of centrifugally cast tubes. In the 1970s I was works manager at an English foundry making similar tubes. I was disappointed with the Mona Lisa as well - my comment "Is that what all the fuss is about."

  2. My cousin was lucky enough to accompany her sister on the sister's business/pleasure trip around Europe. She said she understood the reason Mona Lisa was popular when she saw it. Since I'll never get to see it myself, I'm choosing to think Nat King Cole had a good reason for his popular song about Mona Lisa. :)

  3. I agree with you 100%. D'orsay is magical.
    I have tried to come to terms with the pyramid. Before the pyramid, it was not a blank space to be filled, as some people might say, it was a courtyard. Courtyards serve a very important purpose for people to gather and also to offset the surrounding buildings. That said, I think I.M. Pei is a charming and very likable fellow, unlike many of the supermodel architects.

    The Mona Lisa is just proof that people are sheep and will focus on whatever they're told to. There are so many more interesting and beautiful works of art in the Louvre.

  4. I have visited Paris only a few times, once for my 40th birthday with a male "friend" who actually made the trip miserable. I wish I would have gone with a girlfriend. The next time I went, with a forensic nurse friend, was so much more enjoyable!!


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