Tag Archives: France

A Perfect Venue to Stargaze

A new outdoor camping concept in France

A far cry from “living in a bubble”, outdoor camping experience has never been better when the new concept takes fresh expression of “living in a bubble” to the wild with the night sky. What a better way to experience a perfect private retreat or an unforgettable luxury camping in French wine country that allows you to spend the night under the stars.

Nestled in a forested area between Bordeaux and Saint Emilion, “The Bubbles of Bordeaux” is the newest addition to the glamping experiences opened in France. Transportation to the site can be arranged from Bordeaux train station and airport.

The beautiful surround will appeal to the affluent international crowd who relish a coveted lifestyle destination. Guests can bask under the stars or camp inside the all transparent bubble pods called “Les Bulles de Bordeaux”.

The five bubbles pods took after the names of local wines and grapes: Cabernet, Merlot, Muscadelle, Verdot and Semillon. Each of the independent tents has been meticulously built on wooden decks that afford guests the chance to laze and revitalise, enjoying nature at its finest.

The facility is tastefully designed to equip with all creature comforts of full-sized beds, showers and toilets, heating, electricity and lighting. Some of the pods also come with Jacuzzis, and also present the options to choose between completely transparent and semi-transparent tents. In addition, enjoy the offer of French delicacies or request for the meals to be delivered right to your pod.

“An hour and a half outside of Reykjavik in Iceland, guests can also experience the aurora borealis at the Bubble Lodge.”

At the Nellim Wilderness Hotel in northern Finland, catch the Northern Lights under glass-domed cabins. In Pont-Saint-Esprit in Southern France, Maison Bulles comes with a queen-sized bed and telescopes upon request. And at Canada’s Ridgeback Lodge in New Brunswick, take the chance to sip on wine while soaking in a private, wood-fired hot tub, while gazing up at the stars.

France’s wine production drops by a fifth in 2017

2017 is shaping up to be a particularly challenging year for vintners, regardless of where they are on the map. Italy’s wine harvest season has recently been marked by a drop in volumes due to the a spell of bad weather conditions. Now, it seems that the curse has befallen its neighbour in the West as well.

As announced by the French agriculture ministry on Friday, France’s wine production in 2017 is expected to be 37.2 million hectolitres. That’s 18% less than 2016, when France suffered one of its poorest harvests in 30 years.

Like Italy, France’s wine-growing regions have been struck by a severe spring frost twice within a week last April, which was a sensitive period for the vines. The adverse effects of the bitter cold surfaced not long after: the fragile vine shoots and buds, which had emerged prematurely thanks to mild temperatures in March, were utterly ravaged.

French winemakers have gone to lengths to combat the frost. Giant fans have been deployed to prevent the cold, damp air from settling on the plants, while water sprinklers are used to cast a fine coating of ice upon the vines to keep them from freezing through.

Over at Bordeaux, winemakers have resorted to more desperate measures, such as setting fires in oil drums and positioning them carefully between rows of budding grapevines. They have every reason to be worried, too; France’s prime wine-growing region (and its largest) is expected to see a 40% drop in output this year.

Burgundy is also fated for a similar misfortune, mainly due to the repeated attacks of hail in recent years. According to the Global Wine Risk Index, Burgundy’s wine harvest has been slashed by half in the five years to 2016, and that’s unlikely to change anytime soon.

Things are looking up, however, down in the south, where an exceptionally dry summer has resulted in the accelerated maturation of vines. Winemakers have begun harvesting the smaller grapes two weeks earlier than usual, looking forward to the top vintage that the grapes will yield.

France awarded world’s top tourism destination in 2016

Audrey Hepburn once famously declared, “Paris is always a good idea.” Years later, it seems that the doe-eyed actress’s sentiments are still being echoed by many a globetrotter. Yesterday, the UN’s World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) announced that France was once again the world’s top tourism destination in 2016.

For many, the news might come as a surprise, especially after the string of deadly terror attacks that the country’s capital has seen in recent years. It is apparent, however, that to the 82.6 million tourists who visited France last year, the city of romance — with its beautiful historic monuments and exquisite local wines — still held its appeal.

However, the figures did reveal a drop of over 2% from 2015. The figures in the US were dealt with a likewise blow, falling 3% to a number 75.61 million tourists. Not all countries suffered the same fate, though — as was the case for Spain. Hot on the heels of the US, the country came in third with 75.56 million visitors. The 10% jump in visitors from 2015 reflects Spain’s newfound role as an alternative to the lands of Turkey, Egypt and North Africa — all of which are prone to unrest in the volatile political climate of today.

This has certainly worked to the Spain’s advantage; the country seems to be attracting a well-heeled crowd, judging from the staggering $60 billion earnings it received from tourists last year. It was beaten from the top position only by the US, whose $206 billion earnings put it miles ahead of any other countries in the running. Thailand and China came in third and fourth respectively.

Meanwhile, the Brexit referendum has evidently taken a toll on Britain. After voting to leave the European Union last year, the British pound was significantly depreciated against the US dollar. As a result, Britain fell four places down to the seventh position, making only $34 billion in tourist earnings in 2016.

Europe’s cold weather spells trouble for vineyards in Bordeaux, France

When a severe, unseasonal cold snap gripped Bordeaux vineyards in late April, winegrowers sprang into action. They set fires in thousands of oil drums, positioning them carefully between the rows of budding grapevines in southwest France. Giant fans were deployed to battle the cold, damp air settling on the plants.

Helicopters also flew low overhead, in another extravagant attempt to battle freezing condensation. In the aftermath of the region’s worst late-season freeze in more than two decades, winemakers here are looking forward nervously to the crucial June flowering phase, when pollination occurs.

Shrivelled vines

The freeze left a grim landscape. “We have a hangover. Eighty percent of our vineyard was hit by the frost. It’s all our work that has been wiped out,” says Jean-Francois Galhaud, president of the Saint-Emilion Wine Council that represents nearly 1,000 winegrowers, standing before rows of Merlot grapevines with curled and shrivelled leaves.

The bitter cold struck twice within a week last month, ravaging the fragile shoots and buds that had emerged prematurely following mild temperatures in March. This means poor harvests not only for grapes but also for fruit and vegetables like apples, pears and asparagus.

Wine producers say they have not experienced such a damaging frost since 1991 when over half of vineyards in the Bordeaux region were affected. Francois Despagne, who produces the Saint-Emilion grand cru Chateau Grand Corbin-Despagne, says 90 percent of his vineyard was damaged by the cold, more than he has seen in 20 years in the business.

The weather-inflicted damage was felt throughout France and in other parts of Europe too. In Germany, the frost reached all of the country’s vineyards, which is “extremely rare”, says Ernst Buescher, of the German Wine Institute.

In Italy’s Tuscany region, 20 percent of wine production was destroyed, valued at around $90 million (around 80 million euros), according to the agricultural association, Confagricoltura.

June’s flowering vines

The quality of this year’s grapes depends on the blooms in June, says Stephane Toutoundji, an oenologist based in the southwestern town of Libourne who advises winemakers throughout Bordeaux.

If the buds fail to resume growth between now and next month, the annual harvest will be halved in terms of volume for Bordeaux, costing an estimated 1.5 billion euros in sales, says CIVB, a wine industry association for the region.One thing is certain, the harvest this year will be late.

“Let’s cross our fingers that we do a 1961, a year with a small harvest that was of very good quality,” says Galhaud. However, Toutoundji says what has survived the freeze is only of “normal quality”.

Long-term damage?

To survive this bad patch, help is on hand for winegrowers in the form of partial unemployment benefits, aid for social charges and financial support from local authorities.

Only a small proportion, 15 percent, of France’s 800,000 hectares (nearly two million acres) of vineyards are insured, mainly because of the high cost of insurance.

Last year’s abundant harvest in the region will help fill in some of this year’s gaps, thanks to a programme called VCI, whereby regulators allow winegrowers to keep approved amounts of wine stocks from a previous year in case of natural catastrophes.

But despite the VCI scheme, Bordeaux output is expected to come in at three million hectolitres this year, well below an average annual production of 5.4 million hectolitres.

The VCI allowances however do not help producers who sell their wine in bulk and do not have stocks to mitigate such shortages.

Adds to challenges

Bordeaux growers had been recovering with three good vintage years since suffering a poor year in 2013, making April’s blow that much more difficult.

Despite the various near-term relief measures, the weather-inflicted damage lays bare other big challenges facing the winegrowers.

Producers in the south of France are frustrated with an increase of cheap Spanish bulk wine, which has sparked several demonstrations in supermarkets in recent months.

There is also competition from further afield. Laetitia Ouspointour, of Chateau Vieux Mougnac in Lussac, worries the region will lose market share to countries like Australia and South Africa. Rising production costs add to the challenge, she says. “We will not be able to supply wine, and it will cost more than other wines,” Ouspointour says.

Le Pho Summertime

Art market in Vietnam saw steady rise in 2016 with more auctions of Vietnamese modern art

Sale of Vietnamese art at Christie’s Shanghai

Sale of Vietnamese art at Christie’s Shanghai, October 2016. Image courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd., 2017

A particular country market that has dished out more positives amidst the general pessimism of the 2016 global art market is Vietnam. 2016 saw the modern Vietnamese art market continue to ride strongly on an ascending trajectory that had begun as early as 2014. Admittedly, the Asian art market has historically bore high hopes for Vietnam, always considering it the next emerging market. All through the 1990s and 2000s, its big break never came but the market has never looked rosier than in the past few years, particularly with the emergence of Chinese and Vietnamese buyers in the market.

2016 was a year of plentiful offerings in the secondary market for Vietnamese modern art. Auctions in France and the US — increasingly accessible to buyers in Asia via online marketing and sales platforms – turned up more Vietnamese artworks than previous years (with accompanying strong prices) against a backdrop of strong prices in the bellwether Hong Kong auction sales. Christie’s presented in its May 2016 Asian 20th-Century Art sale a curated section titled ‘Se Souvenir des Belles Choses: A Curated Collection of Vietnamese Art’ that featured more than 70 Vietnamese lots in its 20th-century Asian art sale. With a 90% sell-through rate, and a sale total of USD 4 million, it was not only the most valuable single auction sale of Vietnamese art but also notable for the overwhelming response of Vietnam-based buyers, who accounted for more than half of the sold value of the sale.

The geographical footprint of Vietnamese art has also expanded in this time of growth, with the first ever sale of works of Vietnamese art in a mainland China auction taking place at Christie’s Shanghai in October 2016. A pair of small but relatively earlier Mai Trung Thu ink and gouache on silk portraits sold for CNY 660,000 (USD 98,622), at least three times what a pair of such portraits would have fetched just a couple of years ago. Leading Vietnamese contemporary painter, Nguyen Trung’s ‘Repose in the Garden of Delight’ realized CNY 228,000 (USD 34,070), easily doubling its high estimate, and continuing a run of recent resurgent prices.

Le Pho Summertime

‘L’ete (Summertime)’, Le Pho. Image courtesy Art Agenda, S.E.A., 2017

Mid-20th-century ink paintings on silk and lacquer paintings form the cornerstone of the modern Vietnamese art market. The key artists in the market Le Pho, Mai Trung Thu, Vu Cao Dam and Le Thi Luu were some of the very first few graduates from the French-established art college in Vietnam’s capital, Hanoi, who went to Paris in the pre-World War II years and settled and worked there. Pioneer lacquer painter Nguyen Gia Tri and Nguyen Phan Chanh, who paints primarily on silk, are the other two artists who stayed in Vietnam, and whose works form the core of the modern Vietnamese market.

In the past three years, with the exception of Vu Cao Dam where no extremely significant work has come to market, the other five first-generation modern artists have had works surface at market that have elicited decisive action from bidders. All previous auction record prices have been broken, and in the case of Le Pho and Nguyen Phan Chanh, repeatedly so. The entire top end of the modern Vietnamese market has pulled away considerably, and continually, upward.

The participation of new buyers has been a key factor in the overall strong showing in the market. In particular, buyers in Hanoi and Saigon, the two largest Vietnamese cities, have emerged to participate in unprecedented numbers and strength in the auction market in Hong Kong. Their sense of cultural patrimony to buy and bring heritage home has boded well for prices.

Vu Cao Dam Le Depart

‘Le Départ’, 1949, Vu Cao Dam. Image courtesy Art Agenda, S.E.A., 2017

At the same time, there begins to emerge a broader understanding of the place of the Vietnamese artists working around the middle of the 20th century. Against the Fauvists’ bold colour palette and the emphasis of Expressionism on the artist as creative genius, the France-based Vietnamese artists painted with a vivid sense of cultural identity which they were keen not just to express in their lives, but to rely through the subjects and styles they worked on. The dainty portraits of girls, children and idealised landscapes painted on silk with their muted monochromatic colour palette and soft evocative tones made overtures to an oriental aesthetics shared with individuals like Sanyu and Tsuguharu Foujita. At the same time, the surrealistic, dream-like qualities of Marc Chagall’s work had a profound influence on Vu Cao Dam. An enlarged story of the School of Paris would read in the works of foreign artists such as the Franco-Vietnamese quadruplet how far-reaching the creative osmosis of the Parisian milieu was.

As the market shifts into gear for the upcoming second quarter auction season in 2017, watch out for the continued ascendancy of prices and broadening of buyer base in the modern Vietnamese market.

For more information, visit artagendasea.org.

Art Agenda S.E.A. in collaboration with De Sarthe Gallery will be exhibiting ‘Departures: Intersecting Modern Vietnamese Art with R. Streitmatter-Tran’, a major new work by Richard Streitmatter-Tran that intersects with a collection of 40 modern masterpieces by modern Vietnamese artists such as Le Pho, Trung Thu, Nguyen Gia Tri, Nguyen Phan Chanh, and Vu Cao Dam. From 26 May – 8 July 2017, the exhibition will be held at De Sarthe Gallery, 20/F Global Trade Square, 21 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Wong Chuk Hang, Hong Kong. For more information visit artagendasea.org, also desarthe.com.

This article was written by Wang Zineng and originally published in Art Republik.

Michelin-starred chefs Ferran Adria and Jose Andres head to Vinexpo Bordeaux in France

Chef Ferran Adria

Vinexpo, one of the largest global exhibitions for wine and spirit professionals from across the globe, is set to dazzle once again. This year, the event will be taking place from June 18 to 21. Mega-watt chefs Ferran Adria and Jose Andres have been tapped to make guest appearances at one of the world’s leading wine trade fairs this summer, France’s Vinexpo, where Spain will be honoured as the guest country.

Details for Vinexpo Bordeaux, one of the most important wine events on the calendar year, have been revealed for the 48,000 visitors who are expected to attend the 19th edition of the trade fair. This summer, the event will bring a dozen of the most high-powered, Michelin-starred chefs from Spain including Adria and Andres as part of its spotlight on Spanish wines.

The chefs will appear at “A Taste of Spain”, organised in partnership with Wine Spectator magazine. Along with free tastings of 116 Spanish wines, visitors will also learn about the third largest wine exporter in the world.

For the first time this year, Vinexpo will showcase 200 organic and biodynamic wineries in a single space called “World of Organic Wines” or WOW. Other highlights include panel discussions that will be themed after the wine market after Brexit, and how climate change is affecting the wine industry.

For more information, do visit Vinexpo Bordeaux.

The Louvre Pyramid, designed by Chinese-American architect I.M. Pei, in the courtyard of the Louvre Museum

Parisian Louvre pyramid designer I.M. Pei turns 100

The Louvre Pyramid, designed by Chinese-American architect I.M. Pei, in the courtyard of the Louvre Museum

The Louvre Pyramid, designed by Chinese-American architect I.M. Pei, in the courtyard of the Louvre Museum

The Chinese-American designer endured a roasting from critics before the giant glass structure opened in 1989, with up to 90 percent of Parisians said to be against the project at one point.

“I received many angry glances in the streets of Paris,” Pei later said, confessing that “after the Louvre I thought no project would be too difficult.”

Yet in the end even that stern critic of modernist “carbuncles”, Britain’s Prince Charles, pronounced it “marvellous”.

And the French daily Le Figaro, which had led the campaign against the “atrocious” design, celebrated its genius with a supplement on the 10th anniversary of its opening.

Pei’s masterstroke was to link the three wings of the world’s most visited museum with vast underground galleries bathed in light from his glass and steel pyramid.

It also served as the museum’s main entrance, making its subterranean concourse bright even on the most overcast of days.

Pei, who grew up in Hong Kong and Shanghai before studying at Harvard with the Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius, was not the most obvious choice for the job, having never worked on a historic building before.

But the then French president Francois Mitterrand was so impressed with his modernist extension to the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC that he insisted he was the man for the Louvre.

The Socialist leader was in the midst of attempting to transform Paris with a series of architectural “grands projets” that included the Bastille Opera and the Grand Arch of La Defense.

Already in his mid-60s and an established star in the United States for his elegant John F. Kennedy Library and Dallas City Hall, nothing had prepared Pei for the hostility of the reception his radical plans would receive.

He needed all his tact and dry sense of humour to survive a series of encounters with planning officials and historians.

One meeting with the French historic monuments commission in January 1984 ended in uproar, with Pei unable even to present his ideas.

“You are not in Dallas now!” one of the experts shouted at him during what he recalled was a “terrible session”, where he felt the target of anti-Chinese racism.

Not even Pei’s winning of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, the “Nobel of architecture” in 1983, seemed to assuage his detractors.

Jack Lang, who was French culture minister at the time, told AFP he is still “surprised by the violence of the opposition” to Pei’s ideas.

As the Louvre is the former palace of the country’s kings, Lang notes that “the pyramid is right at the centre of a monument central to the history of France“.

“The project also came at a time of fierce ideological clashes” between the left and right, he added.

The Louvre’s then director, Andre Chabaud, resigned in 1983 in protest at the “architectural risks” Pei’s vision posed.

The present incumbent, however, is in no doubt that the pyramid is a masterpiece that helped turn the museum around.

Jean-Luc Martinez is all the more convinced of the fact having worked with Pei over the last few years to adapt his plans to cope with the museum’s growing popularity.

Pei’s original design was for up to two million visitors a year. Last year the Louvre welcomed nearly nine million.

For Martinez the pyramid is “the modern symbol of the museum”, he said, “an icon on the same level” as the Louvre’s most revered artworks “the Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo and the Winged Victory of Samothrace”.

The Eiffel Tower, now synonymous with Paris, faced opposition during the time of its construction

The Eiffel Tower, now synonymous with Paris, faced opposition during the time of its construction

Pei is not alone in being savaged for changing the cherished landscape of Paris.

In 1887, a group of intellectuals that included Emile Zola and Guy de Maupassant published a letter in the newspaper Le Temps to protest at the building of the “useless and monstrous Eiffel Tower“, an “odious column of sheet metal with bolts”.

Jean-Marc Nattier's 'Tsar Peter I', painted in 1717, is one of the exhibiting paintings. The show parallels a slew of others this year that are loosely or closely connected to the centenary of the Russian Revolution. Image courtesy of Musée de l'Ermitage, Saint-Petersbourg, 2017

Grand Trianon Palace, Versailles hosts exhibition celebrating 300th anniversary of Russian Tsar Peter the Great’s visit

Jean-Marc Nattier, 'Tsar Peter I', 1717. Image courtesy of Musée de l'Ermitage, Saint-Petersbourg, 2017

Jean-Marc Nattier’s ‘Tsar Peter I’, painted in 1717, is one of the exhibiting paintings. The show parallels a slew of others this year that are loosely or closely connected to the centenary of the Russian Revolution. Image courtesy of Musée de l’Ermitage, Saint-Petersbourg, 2017

From May 30 to September 24, 2017, the Grand Trianon Palace in Versailles will commemorate the tercentenary of the Russian ruler Peter the Great’s visit to France, which was a major diplomatic and cultural event of the time.

2017 has seen a growing number of exhibitions marking the centenary of the Russian Revolution at New York’s MOMA, London’s Tate Modern and Royal Academy, and the Hermitage Amsterdam. Now, the Grand Trianon palace in Versailles is celebrating the 300th anniversary of the Russian Tsar Peter the Great’s visit to France.

Louis Hersent, 'Louis XV visiting Peter the Great at the Hotel de Lesdiguières, May 10, 1717', 1838. Image courtesy of Château de Versailles, Christophe Fouin

Louis Hersent, ‘Louis XV visiting Peter the Great at the Hotel de Lesdiguières, May 10, 1717’, 1838. Image courtesy of Château de Versailles, Christophe Fouin

This new exhibition, ‘Peter the Great, a Tsar in France. 1717’, is a collaborative undertaking by the Château de Versailles and Russia’s famous State Hermitage Museum. Around 150 pieces will be on display, including paintings, sculptures, items of decorative art, medals, maps, books, manuscripts and scientific instruments.

Visitors will be taken step by step through the Russian ruler’s visit from April 21 to June 21, 1717. The son of Tsar Alexis Mikhaïlovitch stayed at the Grand Trianon palace during his time in France. The trip had political and economic objectives, but it was also a source of inspiration for the Tsar who had been introducing modernising reforms in Saint Petersburg since 1703. He intended to take the best aspects of the French kingdom and adapt them to his own empire.

Leather, parchment, bronze, glass and wood items from the State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg. Image courtesy of Musée de l'Ermitage, Saint-Petersbourg, 2017

Leather, parchment, bronze, glass and wood items from the State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg. Image courtesy of Musée de l’Ermitage, Saint-Petersbourg, 2017

‘Peter the Great, a Tsar in France. 1717’ will cover Peter the Great’s visit to a young Louis XV and the Regent Philippe d’Orléans. Visitors will discover the Tsar’s interest in French science and techniques, as well as local painters such as Louis Caravaque and Jean-Baptiste Oudry.

The exhibition will also cover the Russian leader’s interest in the gardens at Marly and the Grand Trianon.

Artists from Northern Ireland: Claire Morgan holds first solo exhibitions America and France

Claire Morgan, Gone With the Wind, 2008, wild flower seeds, kittiwake gull (taxidermy), nylon, lead, acrylic; 220 x 200 x 1100 centimetres in height, width and depth

Claire Morgan, Gone With the Wind, 2008, wild flower seeds, kittiwake gull (taxidermy), nylon, lead, acrylic; 220 x 200 x 1100 centimetres in height, width and depth

Visually arresting, Claire Morgan’s installation and paper works achieve their resonance by tapping into a sense of the uncanny. Bringing into question our perceived notions of organic life and movement, the animals in Morgan’s works are lifeless shells preserved through her skill as a professional taxidermist. Different species of animals suspended in motion move through spaces constrained by geometric pattern and regularity.

Morgan’s hanging installations are assemblages of organic and non-organic material brought into a meticulous and calculating order that serves to emphasise themes surrounding the human relationship to our environment, and the ceaseless ebb and flow of death and the regeneration of life. “Exploring the physicality of animals, death, and illusions of permanence in the work is my way of trying to come to terms with these things myself,” she says.

The artist was trained in sculpture at Northumbria University in England, and born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in 1980. Having exhibited at the Palais de Tokyo in France in 2009, Morgan went on to present to great acclaim, a solo exhibition titled ‘Life.Blood.’ at Galerie Karsten Greve, also in Paris. Since then, Morgan’s has participated in international shows across Europe, the United States and Australia.

There is a stillness to Morgan’s works that acts as a poetic juxtaposition to the active postures that many of her animal subjects possess. The environments they are situated within are immersive, densely overwhelming, and composed of delicate and painstakingly mounted materials that range from individual seeds to scraps of polyethylene and cellophane. Morgan acknowledges then, the fragility of these rigidly imposed spaces. Nevertheless, her subjects remain trapped wild animals caged in a perpetual quietude.

Claire Morgan, 'The Beauty and the Beast', 2012, watercolour, pencil on paper, 40.6 x 30.5 centimetres in height and width

Claire Morgan, ‘The Beauty and the Beast’, 2012, watercolour, pencil on paper, 40.6 x 30.5 centimetres in height and width

Morgan is also known for her “blood drawings”, works on paper that depict the conceptual process leading towards a completed sculpture or installation. Passionately gestural, the works on paper capture pathways of motion and energy that run through the final works, often alongside detailed renderings of the built environments that will eventually come to confine them.

Seen in relation to the completed sculptures, the paper works draw attention to the intentional construction of a mechanical order of straight lines and grids that is intercut by the order of nature. The organic lines of nature represented through flowing lines and animal forms gently but surely disrupt the linear composition of their surroundings. As we enter a period of global uncertainty, Morgan’s works inspire deep introspection within the increasingly relevant conversation of the human impact on environmental degradation and change.

Claire Morgan, 'My God-shaped Hole', 2016, residues of taxidermy process, salt, graphite, and mixed media, on paper on canvas, 100 x 100 centimetres in height and width

Claire Morgan, ‘My God-shaped Hole’, 2016, residues of taxidermy process, salt, graphite, and mixed media, on paper on canvas, 100 x 100 centimetres in height and width

Her first solo show in the United States, ‘Stop Me Feeling’ runs at Frist Centre for Visual Arts in Nashville, Tennessee, from February 10 to May 7, 2017. Fondation Francès in Senlis, France, will display a solo show, ‘Resurgence My God-Shaped Hole’ from March to December 2017. In Autumn 2017, Paris-based Galerie Karsten Greve, will also present a solo exhibition of new works.

This article is written by Teo Hui Min and was originally published in Art Republik 14.

Expansion of International Gastronomy Centre in Dijon, France will include hotel and cooking classes

The Cité internationale de la gastronomie et du vin in Dijon, France. Image courtesy of Cité internationale de la gastronomie et du vin de Dijon

The Cité internationale de la gastronomie et du vin in Dijon, France. Image courtesy of Cité internationale de la gastronomie et du vin de Dijon

The French city of Dijon is set to become an international hub for French wine and gastronomy thanks to a vast development opening in 2019. The site will be home to exhibition spaces, a four-star hotel and an education centre, with cookery courses from the renowned Ecole Ferrandi school.

After its initial announcement in February 2016, the Cité internationale de la gastronomie et du vin or International Gastronomy Exhibition Centre in the Eastern city of Dijon is starting to take shape, with key features of the development outlined March 21. The centre hopes to become a major focus of local life and will be fully integrated into its surroundings, thanks to a 540-home eco-neighbourhood and a 13-screen movie theatre also planned for the complex. A 4,500 square metres mall area will feature wine bars and four restaurants, as well as boutiques selling cookery, kitchenware and tableware items.

The development, located on the site of the city’s former General Hospital, hopes to provide a high-quality showcase for France’s renowned culinary culture. The project is reminiscent of the recently opened Cité du vin wine museum and cultural centre in Bordeaux, destined to become an international hot spot for wine lovers.

As the capital of the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region, Dijon is an ideally situated stop-off point for visitors touring the vineyards of Burgundy. French wine and gastronomy will be celebrated in various ways at this multifaceted complex. For example, the Bureau interprofessionnel des vins de Bourgogne (BIVB) wine school is due to run wine-related courses in the centre, and the renowned Parisian cookery school Ecole Ferrandi will be teaching cooking and pastry-making courses. Students will follow a five-month program, taught in English. Developers expect to welcome 110 international students per year in a specially designed 750 square metres training space.

The Cité internationale de la gastronomie et du vin in Dijon, France. Image courtesy of Cité internationale de la gastronomie et du vin de Dijon

The Cité internationale de la gastronomie et du vin in Dijon, France. Image courtesy of Cité internationale de la gastronomie et du vin de Dijon

Accessible by high-speed TGV train and by freeway, Dijon hopes to become a major tourist destination. To anticipate demand, the development integrates a 125-room four-star hotel located in historic buildings dating from the hospital’s extension in the 17th and 18th centuries. The hotel will have a restaurant, a spa and an outdoor pool.

Visitors will be able to explore French gastronomic culture via to a 1,700 square metres exhibition space hosting permanent and temporary exhibitions that celebrate “the gastronomic meal of the French”, as enshrined in UNESCO‘s cultural heritage. Local Burgundy wines will enjoy their own specific showcase in the former hospital chapel, where visitors can find out more about the characteristic wine-growing plots or ‘climats’ of the region’s vineyards.

The first sections of Dijon’s Cité de la gastronomie et du vin is scheduled for completion in 2019. One million visitors are expected each year.

Art exhibitions in Singapore: Intersections Gallery presents ‘Burning Landscapes’ and ‘Beyond the Surface’

Hanibal Srouji, 'Dusk', 2016, fire, acrylic, canvas, 75 centimetres. Image courtesy of Intersections Gallery

Hanibal Srouji, ‘Dusk’, 2016, fire, acrylic, canvas, 75 centimetres. Image courtesy of Intersections Gallery

Since 2012, Intersections Gallery has been quietly building a growing repertoire of quality art and a deep commitment to nurturing artists. The Gallery’s upcoming shows ‘Burning Landscapes’ from March 17 to April 30, and ‘Beyond The Surface’ from May 3 to June 18, showcase collaborations that create a dialogue among Chinese ink, Western painting, video, installations and ceramics.

Burning Landscapes

Often seen as an unforgiving, destructive force, the artworks in ‘Burning Landscapes’ transmute fire into a life-giving force that has an aesthetic element of beauty, a creative medium that balances yin and yang, and an expression of serenity and positivity. The exhibition showcases artistic statements of freedom by two French Lebanese artists, Tania Nasr and Hanibal Srouji. Both Nasr and Srouji were forced to flee Lebanon’s Civil War, which lasted from 1975 to 1990, and Nasr’s ceramic works, with Srouji’s paintings and installation, speak of remembered and discovered geographies together with intimate emotional landscapes.

French Lebanese artist Tania Nasr. Image courtesy of Intersections Gallery

French Lebanese artist Tania Nasr. Image courtesy of Intersections Gallery

When they met in 2014, both artists instantly saw a synergy between their creative processes and the role of art as beyond mere self-expression and as an articulation of a larger, global vision of art and art making.

United by fire, the painter’s circular form in Srouji’s ‘Tondos’ series responds to the form and intention of Nasr’s spherical ceramic works. Srouji sees the circular forms as “openings of the soul from which we can look beyond” and begin to dream and hope again. It is with this shared vision of artworks that convey peace and optimism that their collaboration flowed harmoniously. Each artist intuitively echoed the other in exchanges that went beyond language; how a colour directly applied on canvas echoed the sensuality of hands working on clay.

French Lebanese artist Hanibal Srouji. Image courtesy of Intersections Gallery

French Lebanese artist Hanibal Srouji. Image courtesy of Intersections Gallery

They both express, through their respective mediums, a means to transcend the swift brutality of fire’s destruction, taking their time to coax a sublime expression of creation and resilience. Where fire births Nasr’s ceramics with form and colour, Srouji marks the canvas with a trail of fire from a blowtorch. If fire can be seen as pure energy, then its potential to build or annihilate lies in the choices that mankind makes.

The free-floating strips of canvas that comprise Srouji’s ‘Healing Bands’ series and Nasr’s ceramics have a “horizontal flow” as the pieces work together as one; an allegory of humankind’s strength in unity. Both Nasr and Srouji remind us how art can celebrate light and offer us a meditative space to heal and elevate our existence.

Tania Nasr, 'By the sea', 2015, mix clay, clear glaze, cobalt blue, 18 x 15 x 117 centimetres. Image courtesy of Intersections Gallery

Tania Nasr, ‘By the sea’, 2015, mix clay, clear glaze, cobalt blue, 18 x 15 x 117 centimetres. Image courtesy of Intersections Gallery

Beyond The Surface

Exploring the human body as a repository of memories, ‘Beyond the Surface’ employs Chinese ink paintings, video, sculpture and installation and conceptual art to delve into the subconscious. This new series by Hélène Le Chatelier illustrates the internal landscapes that emerge when we sink into our body’s wisdom; revealing the multiplicity of our frailties and strengths, ego and fear, and love and shadows. Questioning the intimacies of our time, her artworks hold space for introspection, so that each person can experience the vastness of their secret inner selves. Here, Le Chatelier observes our sense of oneness vis-à-vis the metamorphosis of our inwardness and relationship with our bodies.

Hélène Le Chatelier, 'Internal Landscape 13', 2017. Image courtesy of Intersections Gallery

Hélène Le Chatelier, ‘Internal Landscape 13’, 2017. Image courtesy of Intersections Gallery

To reflect the blurring of boundaries between skin and screen in the social media age, this exhibition marks the first time that Le Chatelier will feature video as part of an installation. She explains, “Each medium allows me to explore a different aspect of a single concept. It’s like pulling different strings from the same ball of wool”. Collaborating with Butoh dancer Syv Bruzeau, the video calls for us to listen to the darkness and nuances of our bodies. Le Chatelier also collaborated with Virgile Viasnoff, a scientist and researcher, to include images of cells reacting to their environment. In the face of social media’s overexposure, the video brings people back to the space in their inner worlds.

The complexity of the self is a composite of personal experiences and is personified by the sculpture Le Chatelier created for this exhibition. Outer layers of newspaper representing daily events are coated in layers of ink, mirroring our social facades, while the heart is a hidden message and inner core of clay. Le Chatelier likens this to love being an acceptance of the unknown in our deepest relations.

French artist Hélène Le Chatelier. Image courtesy of Intersections Gallery

French artist Hélène Le Chatelier. Image courtesy of Intersections Gallery

Le Chatelier’s show questions the dichotomy between the freedom of data and debatable intimacy, as well as the volatility of human bonds and the connection with self. The human condition might seem enduring, when it is actually constantly transforming and therefore transitional and ephemeral.

This article is written by Pamela Ng and was originally published in Art Republik 14.

Luxury property in the Mediterranean: Le Domaine De Calvi in Corsica offers contemporary villas

This is a new luxury development of six contemporary villas set within a private gated domain of 5.6 hectares, each with its own swimming pool. Overlooking the Bay of Calvi, each villa offers panoramic views over the Citadelle of Calvi and the sea.

Architecture and design combine to ensure the development complements the surrounding natural landscape of which Corsica is so famous for. Each villa offers approximately 3,229 square feet. of living space, with a landscaped garden from 26,909 square feet. to 30,139 square feet, and approximately 3,229 square feet of terraces.

This exclusive property is ideally situated five minutes from the beaches and only 10 minutes from Calvi International Airport.

PRICE ON APPLICATION
This article was first published in Palace 18.

Luxury property in France: Villa Du Pinet in Saint Tropez offers beachside views and lush greenery

This charming Bastide is ideally located from the centre of Saint Tropez and just 400 metres from Tahiti beach, one of the most beautiful and well-known beaches in the area.

Set within a hectare of beautifully landscaped gardens, with rose beds and Mediterranean plants, this stylish property has an extensive terrace affording views over the pool and the garden. There’s also plenty of parking space available.

At its entrance is an imposing central atrium, which leads to a reception room with a fireplace. Inside, you will also find an immaculate dining room, fitted kitchen and professional kitchen, an office, five bedrooms, four baths or shower rooms and a separated en-suite bedroom. A real haven of peace and privacy.

Price on Application

This article was first published in Palace 18.

Famous paintings by Leonardo Da Vinci: Researchers decode Mona Lisa’s smile as happy

Leonardo da Vinci's "Mona Lisa" at the Louvre museum in Paris.

Renaissance painter’s Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” at the Louvre museum in Paris.

The subject of centuries of scrutiny and debate, Mona Lisa‘s famous smile is routinely described as ambiguous. But is it really that hard to read? Apparently not.

According to an unusual trial, close to 100 percent of people described her expression as unequivocally “happy“, researchers revealed on Friday. “We really were astonished,” neuroscientist Juergen Kornmeier of the University of Freiburg in Germany, who co-authored the study, told AFP.

Kornmeier and a team used what is arguably the most famous artwork in the world in a study of factors that influence how humans judge visual cues such as facial expressions. Known as La Gioconda in Italian, the Mona Lisa is often held up as a symbol of emotional enigma. The portrait appears to many to be smiling sweetly at first, only to adopt a mocking sneer or sad stare the longer you look.

Using a black and white copy of the early 16th century masterpiece by Leonardo da Vinci, a team manipulated the model’s mouth corners slightly up and down to create eight altered images four marginally but progressively “happier” and four “sadder” Mona Lisas.

A block of nine images were shown to 12 trial participants 30 times. In every showing, for which the pictures were randomly reshuffled, participants had to describe each of the nine images as happy or sad.

“Given the descriptions from art and art history, we thought that the original would be the most ambiguous,” Kornmeier said. Instead, to their great astonishment, they found that Da Vinci‘s original was perceived as happy in 97 percent of cases.

A second phase of the experiment involved the original Mona Lisa with eight “sadder” versions, with even more nuanced differences in the lip tilt. In this test, the original was still described as happy, but participants’ reading of the other images changed. “They were perceived a little sadder” than in the first experiment, said Kornmeier.

The findings confirm that “we [do not] have an absolute fixed scale of happiness and sadness in our brain” and that a lot depends on context, the researcher explained. “Our brain manages to very, very quickly scan the field. We notice the total range, and then we adapt our estimates” using our memory of previous sensory experiences, he said.

Understanding this process may be useful in the study of psychiatric disorders, said Kornmeier. Affected people can have hallucinations, seeing things that others do not, which may be the result of a misalignment between the brain’s processing of sensory input, and perceptual memory. A next step will be to do the same experiment with psychiatric patients.

Another interesting discovery was that people were quicker to identify happier Mona Lisas than sad ones. This suggested “there may be a slight preference… in human beings for happiness, said Kornmeier.

As for the masterpiece itself, the team believe their work has finally settled a centuries-old question. “There may be some ambiguity in another aspect,” said Kornmeier, but “not ambiguity in the sense of happy versus sad.”

Design events in Singapore: Art de Vivre à la Française 2017 will see the best of French heritage and decor over 3 days

L’art De Vivre is the art of living, and what better way to do that than to celebrate both art and living in an amalgamation of both facets. Singapore will welcome the inaugural Art De Vivre à la Française design event, to be held from March 8 to 10. Highlighting a growing interest in French design, the event will feature a spread of French cultural heritage and the opulent concept of French Living Art through luxury furniture, décor and lighting. The event is led by Business France, a national agency dedicated to harnessing export and import relations and the international progress of the French economy.

Art De Vivre à la Française will bring to the table French cultural heritage with 13 unique brands on display, each specialising in furniture, décor or tableware. One of these brands is Ulgador, a specialist in decór that uses out of the ordinary techniques to produce signature pieces.  Eight of these brands have attained the Enterprise du Patrimoine Vivant label (EPV) for their exquisite eye for design. Spread over two floors of the Inverturrent House on Gallop Road, the classic scenography will be created by French-born Singapore-based designer Isabelle Miaja. The Inverturrent House —once the former residence of French ambassadors from 1939 to 1999—places the show in a heritage site, maintaining the theme of the event.

Wallpaper from Ulgador

Having already had a successful international run in spunky Shanghai under their belt, the organisers searched for a fresh location to expand their reach. Singapore was unanimously surmised as the next stop in their voyage. The vibrancy and contemporariness of the city were some of the key points that tipped the scale in the Garden City’s favour.

“Singapore is an attractive and vibrant lifestyle hub in Southeast Asia with many Singaporeans eager for design trends and new experiences”, commented HE M. Marc Abensour, Ambassador of France to Singapore. “The Little Red Dot is destined to be the next design capital of Asia thanks to its unique exposure to the various cultures and its increasing curiosity in discovering innovative and exciting parallels.”

Art de Vivre Singapore 2017 will be held from March 8 to 10 at The Inverturret House at 7 Gallop Road, 258965 Singapore.

WIN INVITES TO ART DE VIVRE SINGAPORE 2017!

Enter your name and email below for your chance to win a pair of invitations to Art de Vivre Singapore 2017’s cocktail party and the main event. We have five pairs up for grabs! Submissions close on Monday, 6 March 2017, at noon. Winners will be notified via email on 6 March.

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Please note: By providing your email address and entering this competition you agree to receive relevant email communications from LUXUO including news, events, offers and competitions.

New restaruant opening in Paris, France: Interview with Chef Gérald Passédat on his new venture at Villa La Coste

Renowned Chef Gérald Passédat is known for his ability to produce stunning, and delicious gastronomic masterpieces. Lauded as the King of Mediterranean cuisine, the chef has embarked on a new project at Villa La Coste. Boasting 3 Michelin stars under his belt, the french cookery connoisseur tells us about his inspiration and passion.

The Mediterranean has always been a source inspiration for you. This is your first move outside of Marseille. Does it represent a new challenge in your career?

It is a magnificent project, and I couldn’t pass up on such a setting. Having said that, Aix-en-Provence is not that far from Marseille. I’m a native of Provence, so it doesn’t feel strange to divide my time between the Villa La Coste and the Petit Nice.

How is the restaurant service structured?

We are in charge of the “Louison Gérald Passédat” signature restaurant [editor’s note: named after Louise Bourgeois, whose works are exhibited in the vineyard]. Then there is also Villa La Coste restaurant, which is a more casual venue which prepares generous dishes throughout the day. And then there is the room service for the 28 villa suites. We also have to come up with “detox” dishes for the future spa. It is a real ocean liner of a project, bigger than the one I manage in Marseille. It has been nothing short of an adventure, and I was very impatient for it to open. It is immensely satisfying to have worked on a project from the very beginning.

How did you come to work with Villa La Coste?

The owner, whom I didn’t know, came to have lunch at the Petit Nice. When he had finished eating, he asked if we could talk for a few minutes. He explained that they were building the hotel and asked if I’d be interested in working on the project. The first time I visited the La Coste domain, I was absolutely amazed by the setting.

Château La Coste is remarkable for the series of contemporary artworks that are exposed in its vineyards. Were you attracted by this artistic connection?

By the art and also by the wine. The way the domain is managed is one of the main reasons why I agreed to work here [editor’s note: Château La Coste has 200 hectares under organic and biodynamic cultivation].

From a culinary point of view, is this a new departure given that you are in the heart of Provence and no longer on the Mediterranean?

It is a new dimension. But just because we are located in Provence does not mean that there will not be a connection between the region and the Mediterranean. We are only three-quarters of an hour from the sea. So I will still be working with my fishermen. I am also looking forward to working with produce from the vegetable garden and with local meat ingredients, whether it be lamb or poultry.

Do you think this project will provide you with a new source of inspiration?

It is a bit like writing a book. You are always trying to outdo yourself. And when you get to the last line, you always think ‘I could have done better.’ It is a healthy and positive way of making progress, and it is good to be open to new approaches and to take into account new criticism.

We noticed that the menu features a “turbot carpaccio with grated truffles and caviar,” which is very reminiscent of one of the more famous dishes served at the Petit Nice. Is this a reference to the family business?

It is a reference, but if we are preparing it in Provence we won’t be making it in Marseille. It’s good to draw on past inspiration when you are opening a new venue. But having said that, when I open a new restaurant I want the menu to be different.

Are you aiming for Michelin stars?

Yes, but no date has been set for that. We prepare the cuisine that we want to make, which fortunately or unfortunately is also the type of cuisine that can be awarded stars.

This interview was conducted by AFP Relaxnews.

Luxury spirits: Record French alcohol sales in 2016, led by Cognac

According to the French Federation of Exporters (FEVS), France can thank alcohol for the 1.2 percent increase in export revenue last year. Valued at 11.9 billion euros, a third of the amount is attributed to the sale of spirits while Cognac hit an all-time export high.

The figures showed that while the amount of wine sold declined — France fell behind Italy as the world’s biggest wine producer two years ago — the product that was sold was of higher quality than in previous years and hence sold for a higher price. Alcohol is now France’s second biggest export sector after the aerospace industry.

Cognac was the star product in 2016, showing a 5.5 percent rise in sales, with drinkers in the United States happy to pay premium prices and Chinese customers rediscovering their taste for luxury, too. Wine sales dropped 1.8 percent, continuing a downward trend in terms of volume, and in value. The post-Brexit vote drop in the value of the pound hit the important British market, with a sharp 10-percent drop in wine sales.

However, France’s main market, the United States, was strong and accounted for 2.8 billion euros of business, equivalent to one-quarter of the overall sales, “mainly thanks to a euro-dollar parity that was favourable to our exports”, said FEVS president Christophe Navarre.

China returned with a bang after a lean few years, with a 12.7 percent rise in sales, but French wine producers said they feared the key Chinese market was fragile. “Our competitors such as Chile have agreements with China, where they no longer pay any customs taxes, while we still pay quite high taxes,” said Philippe Casteja, a Saint-Emilion-based producer, who was speaking on behalf of Bordeaux wines.

Paris investment properties luxury homes

Invest in Paris, France: Luxury homes in the City of Love

With a stride in its step, the French capital is coming out of the doldrums. Incentives for property buyers mean that foreign investors can afford a café au lait and croissant from the terrace of their new downtown apartments.

One of the biggest metropolises in Western Europe, Paris has always held an immense amount of appeal on the international luxury real estate scene. While one of London’s main draws has always been its claim as a European capital of finance, Paris has retained its pull as one of the world’s leading tourist destinations, despite being hit by the 2007 financial crisis and the recent terrorist attacks. The City of Light continues its legacy of being a home to some of the world’s best restaurants, architectural landmarks, cultural institutions, fashion, shopping, food and wine and beacons luxury property buyers with its undeniable charm steeped in history and heritage.

“Paris is unique from many other capital cities in that it is not full of high rise buildings and has kept its 19th century cityscape largely intact”, says Roger Willoughby, Partner at Prestige Property Group.  “It is a friendly city with a comprehensive public transport system, but if you prefer to walk, there is nothing better than to walk from one Parisian district to another on a sunny afternoon”.

With the price of an average home seeing drops of 2.5% to 3% in 2014 and 2015 respectively, the strong performance of Sterling against the Euro and the Dollar at its 12-year high, the Paris residential property market is alive with opportunities for international buyers. In 2016, Paris, once again, is a buyer’s market with house prices recovering from the lull and overseas clients returning to Paris for residential property investment opportunities.

“Between 2002 and 2012 prices increased almost 200% and demand has continued to push up prices”, says Marie-Hélène Lundgreen, Director, Belles Demeures de France, International Department of Daniel Feau, exclusive affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate. “French buyers are back and in July we sold 80 homes – around three a day. Low levels of interest rates are motivating buyers to complete purchases, but France’s economic recovery is also having a positive effect on the real estate market”. In a similar tone, Lundgreen’s projections forecast a 2.5% and a 5% return on investment in residential and commercial property markets respectively.

An additional recent incentive for international buyers that is making property investments in Paris all the more lucrative is this year’s EU court ruling that reduced the capital gains tax for non-residents from 34.5% to 19%. Overseas buyers no longer have to pay the additional “social charges” tax of up to 15.5% on the gain, making the tax conditions in Paris all the more favourable.  

Demonstrating an appreciation for antiquity and culture, properties in key areas of Paris have retained their value: the Golden Triangle in the 8th Arrondissement with its inimitable historic Haussmanian and Art Deco architecture, the 6th  and 7th Arrondissements, Saint Germain des Prés, Invalides and Champ de Mars with Eiffel Tower and 18th century mansions and buildings remained steadily popular with wealthy buyers. “Paris is and will always be a scarcity market, as they do not build anymore in the centre of Paris”, says Lundgreen. “Those with an appreciation for antiquity have the opportunity to purchase a home with striking architecture steeped in history”.

As for new opportunities for savvy investors, lucrative possibilities are emerging all around Paris this year. There are new trendy areas budding in the centre of Paris, with the 1st, 2nd, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th and 18th arrondissements arising as the prime spots of interest that can offer better value. Concludes Lundgeen, “These areas are a bit cheaper but still boast boutique cafes and shops popular with younger people”.


On the market

Ecole-Militaire, Christie’s International Real Estate

Located on the seventh floor of a historic 1914 building, with close-up views of the Eiffel Tower, the 130 square metre apartment is a true gem in Paris’ desirable 7th arrondissement, situated close to several government ministries and headquarters. This top floor apartment boasts sky-high, six metre ceilings and a tilted skylight, offering a truly unique view of the iconic Eiffel Tower. The spacious apartment also includes three bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, a master suite, a mezzanine study, fitted dressing rooms and a spacious kitchen with dining facilities.

Price: EUR 3,690,000 (approx. USD 4.15 million) available on christiesrealestate.com

Paris investment properties luxury homes

Ecole-Militaire Interior

Place de L’etoile, 16TH Arrondissement, Paris, France

On the top floor of a beautiful building of late 19th century (Haussmann), this spacious apartment spans 2,529 sq. ft. with a beautiful view of the Arc de Triomphe and the avenue Foch. The entrance-way features a large reception room and study facing south with views of Place de l’Etoile.

This three-bedroom home includes a master suite with en-suite bathroom and includes a spacious dressing room and two further en-suite bedrooms. The kitchen opens up onto the dining room and guest toilets. A service room is connected to the flat. Parking can be available in the courtyard of the building.

Price On Application, available on www.greff-international.com / www.greff-immobilier.com /  www.greff-eurasie.com

Paris investment properties luxury homes

Place De L’etoile interior with a beautiful view of Arc de Triomphe

Text by Olha Romaniuk 

This article was first published in Palace Magazine

cannes yachting festival 2016

Luxury Yachts: Cannes Yachting Festival 2016 breaks new records

The sun was upon us again at this year’s Cannes Yachting Festival, the largest in-water show in Europe. The French city welcomed more than 51,000 festival-bound visitors over the six days. This included 530 exhibitors, and 630 boats, which filled the Vieux Port and Port Pierre Canto.

With an impressive 191 new models on display, all the big names in the world of yachting were there. The Italian Ferretti Group launched a number of new models; the Ferretti Yachts 450 and 850, the Pershing 5X, Rivamare and 76’ Bahama, Custom Line Navetta 37 and the Itama 62. For Arcadia Yachts, their 85S and 100 made their world debuts, while the Sherpa made its in-water debut. All three yachts feature a semi-displacement fiberglass hull, an NPL type selected for optimum efficiency and performance. Benetti also had the official premiere of their Mediterraneo 116, a massive superyacht featuring an 80sqm sun deck, and a cruising range of up to 3,000nm. Beneteau showed off its new Sense 57 and Oceanis Yacht 62, while Azimut displayed 17 models representing its entire range.

cannes yachting festival 2016

The Numarine78HT Evolution had its world debut, while the Turkish shipyard’s sporty 60Fly made its European debut at the event. Sirena Marine unveiled its Azuree 41’ and Euphoria 68’, along with the other big news that they are returning to powerboating with a new line.

The American shipyard Sea Ray was also prominent, and debuted its L590 to the European market.

The British shipyard Princess Yachts was represented with a showcase of 10 yachts. Its Princess 30M and 75MY made their Cannes debuts, and were joined by the 35M, and making her first world appearance, the 49, a craft designed to be a breeze to manoeuver with her advanced twin Volvo IPS-550 pod drive system.

World Yachts Trophies were given out for boats and individuals. Some of the notable ones included Sanlorenzo, who won Best Interior of the Year for its SL78 in the 24 to 38m range, and its Chairman-CEO Massimo Perotti, who was named Personality of the Year. Prestige Yachts’ designer Vittorio Garroni was awarded Designer of the Year, while the Sunreef Supreme 68 took home an award for its layout in the category of yachts ranging between 15 and 24m in length.

The Concours d’Elegance 2016 Competition was held alongside the show’s luxurious festivities. Exclusively open to owners, collectors, and exhibitors of boats measuring 12m or less, the boats of course, had to have an elegant design and contain a maximum crew of 4 people, including at least one woman. Judges evaluated each boat based on the following factors: the quality of restoration, the history and rarity of the model, as well as the style and grace of the crew among other influences. For boats manufactured before 1980, Lady Bambi won first place. A stunning Riva Bertram built in 1974 also became the Jury’s favourite boat. In the manufactured after 1980 category, Violetta 2004 won the gold. Finally, to top things off, the Feminine elegance first place prize went to the Intrepid 327 Cuddy, built in 2015.

The event’s official sponsor, Porsche, also had a number of new models on display, from the latest 911 to the 718 Boxster. With a prominent position next to the sea, the German cars certainly

added to the allure of the luxury lifestyle event that is the Cannes Yachting Festival.
Cannes Yachting Festival, 6-11 September at  The Vieux Port and the Port Pierre Canto   

La Villa Rocabella

Luxury villa for sale: La Villa Rocabella, Côte d’Azur, France

On the shore of the French Riviera stands the large and proud Villa Rocabella. This magnificent Belle Époque mansion, surrounded by about three-hectares (6 acres) of park with its private beach, was built at the turn of the 20th century. Typical of the Napoleon III style, it is one of the mansions designed by the famous architect H.G.Tersling of Monte-Carlo, the favourite architect of Empress Eugénie.La Villa Rocabella

Villa Rocabella overlooks the sea and offers gorgeous views of the Riviera. The finely composed garden exudes Victorian luxuriance and greatness with its majestic palms, scented pines, and many flower beds. The elegant combination between the mansion, the garden and the dazzling scenery contributes to an incredible sense of peace and luxury.La Villa Rocabella

A beautiful path winding through the gardens leads to a private beach where a rocky cave provides comfortable shelter. The very peacefulness of this shore is all that is needed to enjoy the pleasures of the sea.La Villa Rocabella

The excellent location of the Villa Rocabella; off the highways and entirely fenced, not only makes it an outstanding place where lavish receptions can indeed be held, but where quietness and privacy can also be totally preserved.

For more info, contact Arnaud Fontaneau

Compagnie Immobiliere Du Patrimoine
27, Avenue De L’Opera 75001 Paris
Tel: +33 612 04 01 74

This article was first published in Palace.