Tag Archives: France

Château de Versailles Orangerie

France’s Versailles palace to host luxury hotel

Versailles palace Orangerie

The Palace of Versailles is to transform one of its satellite buildings into a luxury hotel, paving the way for a series of French projects aimed at exploiting the economic potential of listed buildings while securing their renovation.

The Hotel du Grand Controle is to be converted into a “luxury hotel,” Jean-Jacques Aillagon, president of the Chateau de Versailles, said Tuesday.

The opening of the 23-bedroom establishment, in which some rooms will look out onto the “Orangerie”, the chateau’s elaborate greenhouse, is planned for late 2011.
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Picasso treasure trove surfaces in France

Hundreds of unknown Pablo Picasso works worth tens of millions of euros have surfaced in France in the hands of a 71-year-old retired electrician who says they were gifts from the master.

Dating from the first third of the 20th century — considered Picasso’s most fertile period — the 271 pieces are valued by experts at more than 60 million euros.

And the new-found drawings, paintings and studies are now at the heart of a legal tug-of-war between the electrician, Pierre Le Guennec, and the artist’s heirs who believe they must have been stolen and have filed for charges.
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Marc Veyrat

French cuisine eyes UNESCO heritage spot

When it comes to meal time, the French do it differently. That is the argument being put to UNESCO as it decides this week whether French cuisine deserves a spot on its intangible heritage list.

“The gastronomic meal of the French” is seen as a strong contender as the UN agency meets in Nairobi from Monday to Friday to consider new submissions for the list, set up in 2003 to safeguard cultural traditions, rituals and crafts.

France’s submission to the list centres around the ritual of the festive meal in a country where food is a key part of social life.
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Saudi royalty buys Paris’s Crillon hotel

Paris’ world-famous luxury Crillon hotel has been sold to Saudi investors linked to the royal family for around 250 million euros ($446 million).

US-based Starwood Capital is in the final stages of the sale which does not include a reportedly 100-million-euro programme needed to modernise one of the world’s oldest luxury hotels, according to the daily Le Figaro.

The Kempinski Hotels group is to manage the Crillon, the paper said, but the new acquisition would be its first in France.

The Crillon, built in the 18th century on what would become the Place de la Concorde, has 147 rooms and suites and employs around 360 people.
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Takashi Murakami at Versailles

Japanese artist Takashi Murakami‘s outlandish manga visions overwhelm the Chateau of Versailles, and not everyone is happy.

Unbelievably, his metal, fibreglass and acrylic sculptures manage to dominate the vast chambers of Versailles, with their marbled walls, gold leaf capitals and celestial ceiling frescoes.

But while French monarchists have denounced as “illegal” the exhibition, the artist himself says that he is quite used to what he calls “Murakami-bashing.”
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Protesters decry Murakami show at Versailles

Protesters decry takashi Murakami show at Versailles

A show of outlandish sculptures by a Japanese artist in the Chateau of Versailles near Paris has enraged traditionalists who say it dishonours France’s past.

From September 14 to December 12, visitors to Versailles will see eye-grabbing multicoloured statues in silver, fibreglass and metal by Takashi Murakami alongside the chateau’s ornate murals and chandeliers.

“The Chateau de Versailles is one of the greatest symbols of Western history,” Murakami said in a statement on the museum’s website.
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Madonna on Roman Abramovich’s yacht

Madonna has borrowed Roman Abramovich’s brand new yacht “Luna” while filming W.E., the new Duke of WIndsor movie she’s directing in the South of France.

The luxurious yacht provides convenient accommodation for Madonna as she films the movie’s beach scenes, London’s Daily Mail reports.

With a swimming pool, sunbathing deck, gaming area and two helipads, the 115 metre boat is the largest expedition yacht in the world.
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French president Sarkozy orders €176 million plane

French President Nicolas Sarkozy ‘s dream of having a presidential jet to rival Air Force One of the United States is about to come true.

“Air Sarko One,” a $241-million Airbus A330-200, has made its first test flight in Bordeaux, southwestern France.

Although not quite as big as the Boeing 747-200 that is Air Force One, the French A330-200 will be at least ten metres longer and two metres higher that the aircraft used by other European leaders.
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LVMH Chief Bernard Arnault Is France’s Richest Man

LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault, the man behind some of the world’s top luxury labels, has been officially named France’s richest man.

Arnault’s fortune is estimated at 22.7 billion euros, ($28.6 billion) following a 55% increase in his net worth weekly magazine Challenges reported.

Arnault took over the top slot from Gerard Mulliez and family, the owners of the Auchan supermarket chain. Mulliez was still in second place with a fortune estimated at 19 billion euros.
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The girls from the pearl at Chanel

A monumental lion, teeth bared and one front paw resting proprietorially on a giant pearl, held centre stage, its golden coat caught in the setting sun under the glass dome of the Grand Palais.

Karl Lagerfeld is a past master at dreaming up attention-grabbing scenarios for his Chanel shows, and Tuesday night’s was no exception.

It looked like an allusion to Jean Cocteau’s Surreal masterpiece “Beauty and the Beast” when the traditional bride at the end was accompanied by a groom wearing a lion’s head over his wedding suit.

However Lagerfeld told AFP it had been inspired by a small bronze lion found in Coco Chanel’s apartment.
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Louis Vuitton Revamps St. Tropez Store

Louis Vuitton unveiled its revamped luxury Saint-Tropez store on 18-June 2010 and launched an exclusive beach bag to celebrate.

The store has been doubled in size with the integration of an adjoining space–a former house of pottery–on rue Georges Clemenceau.

It features interiors inspired by classic Mediterranean glamour: wooden displays, stone floors and sunlight flooding in through large windows that open onto a private garden paved with Provencal briquettes and Mediterranean plants.
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karl

Karl Lagerfeld: Editor-in-Chief at Libération

Libération – the iconic left wing French newspaper – has invited Karl Lagerfeld to be editor-in-chief for the day.

The entire issue bears his mark, from illustrations to comments, to special interviews of him, and an opinion page about the designer.

His illustrations include a self-portrait for the cover of today’s edition, which is 14 by 22 inches — twice as large as it usually is.
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Second life for Lacroix creations

The exuberant creations of Christian Lacroix, who lost his prestigious house last year, are to get a second life as part of France’s national heritage.

The French culture ministry said Tuesday that the owners of the label had confirmed a donation of 11 outfits for the country’s Decorative Arts Museum.

A further 3,000 haute couture models dating from the creation of the label in 1987 to its demise in 2009 would be lent to national museums when necessary.
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Perfume flacon sells at auction for €45,600

An engraved Guerlain bottle from 1870 fetched the record sum of €45,600 at an auction in the city of Arcachon, in the southwest of France.

The flacon, engraved with the house’s original address, Rue de la Paix, was initially expected to fetch €20,000 to €30,000.

Organized by Arcachon auction house Toledano, the sale took place in the presence of French fragrance expert Bernard Gangler.
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Remember Now by Karl Lagerfeld – Trailer

Karl Lagerfeld has released a teaser for the short film “Remember Now,” which has been filmed for the label’s Cruise Collection show in Saint Tropez, May 11.

“Remember Now” was also shot in the glamorous town in the south of France, where fashion aficionados from around the world will come together for one of the most-anticipated fashion shows of the year.

In the teaser, French actor Pascal Greggory and Italian model Elisa Sednaoui are seen flirting in a local nightclub.
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Paris is the most expensive city in the world

Paris is the most expensive city to live in according to the latest survey from Economist Intelligence Unit, a sister company to The Economist.

The survey assesses the cost of living by comparing housing, food, clothing, transport and utility bills and the like in 132 cities around the world.

The study is aimed at helping companies calculate allowances for executives and their families being sent overseas.

Tokyo comes second, up from sixth place a year ago. The fall in Russia’s currency against the dollar has made Moscow cheaper than it once was.
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World’s biggest wine brand created in France

In the sun-drenched south of France, the world’s largest vineyard has launched a new, simplified brand called “Pays d’Oc”, creating the number one French wine export to compete against New World brands.

Languedoc-Roussillon covers 35 percent (or 260,200 hectares) of all French vineyards, making it the biggest producer worldwide.

As of the 2009 vintage, soon to hit store shelves, one-third of that production or 760 million bottles of wine will be sold by vintage and grape variety under the Pays d’Oc brand.

This will make them the world’s fifth largest exporter of varietal wine. And with 33 grape varieties in production in the region, the market potential is impressive.
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France vaunts ’40 virtues’ of Armagnac

armagnac glass

France’s oldest spirit, Armagnac, is celebrating its 700th birthday with a new marketing push vaunting its “40 virtues” as a drink that is good for the body and good for the soul.

The first mention of Armagnac dates back to 1310 when Prior Vital Dufour wrote a treaty on medicine in which he laid out the 40 virtues of the liqueur produced in southwest France.

“This water, if taken medically and soberly is said to have 40 virtues,” wrote Dufour. “It enlivens the spirit, if taken in moderation, recalls the past to memory, renders men joyous, preserves youth and delays senility.”
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Chinese tourists splurge on French tax-free luxury

Chinese tourists to France increased their spending massively on tax-free luxury goods last year despite the economic crisis, overtaking cash-strapped Russians.

The Chinese bought tax-free goods worth 158 million euros (222.5 million dollars) in France in 2009.

That was an increase of 47 percent from the level the previous year, according to Global Refund, a company specialising in tax-free shopping for tourists.
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