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Some of France’s best-known museums, including the world famous Louvre in Paris, will soon be opening their doors to visitors seven days a week, French President François Hollande announced Monday.

The Louvre, along with its Paris neighbor the Musée d'Orsay and the Château de Versailles, located just outside the French capital, will open week-round from this autumn, Hollande said.

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Once home to kings and now one of France's most visited sites, the Chateau de Versailles is planning a new venture with a luxury hotel to prop up its finances, local media said on Sunday.

The palace's management has called for a tender to create a hotel in three 1680s buildings situated just outside the Versailles park's gates, with views of some of its most famous buildings, the Journal du Dimanche said.

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In the aftermath of the Paris atrocities, intellectuals have turned to enlightenment thinkers to refute religious orthodoxy. “I kept thinking of Voltaire,” writes scholar Robert Darnton in an essay for NYRB, “And calling up his famous grin — lips curled and lower jaw stuck out, as if to defy anyone who might dare to pull a punch.” That impish, thin-lipped smile is now on view at the Château de Versailles. In response to the attacks, the palace has rehung a portrait of the revolutionary 18th-century French writer in a central hall, the New York Times reports. “What is Tolerance?” reads a nearby quote by the philosopher in French and English. “It is the consequence of humanity.”

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Tuesday, 23 December 2014 15:06

Anish Kapoor Gets Solo Show at Versailles

The London-based sculptor Anish Kapoor has been given a one-man show at the Château de Versailles in France. According to “The New York Times,” the show will open in June 2015 and run through October 2015.

Versailles’ former director, Jean-Jacques Aillagon, launched the museum’s contemporary art program in 2008. In addition to Kapoor, Jeff Koons, Takashi Murakami, and Joana Vasconcelos have been given solo shows at Versailles. According to the museum’s website, “These encounters, sometimes emphasizing contrast and synthesis, show Versailles as a living site always open to creativity.”

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Tuesday, 22 April 2014 15:26

French Masterpieces Go on View in China

Ten masterpieces of French painting are currently on view at China’s National Museum in Beijing. The exhibition, which was organized by the National Museum and the Réunion des musées nationaux - Grand Palais in Paris, is part of an ongoing series of events commemorating the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties between France and China.

The paintings are on loan from France’s most celebrated institutions -- the Musée du Louvre, the Château de Versailles, the Musée d’Orsay, the Musée Picasso, and the Centre Pompidou, musée national d’Art moderne. The show marks the first time that these renowned institutions have collaborated on an exhibition. Works on view include Jean-Honore Fragonard’s “The Bolt;” Georges de La Tour’s “Saint Joseph Carpenter;” Pablo Picasso’s “Reading the Letter” and “The Matador;” Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s “Dance at Le moulin de la Galette” and “The Swing;” Jean Clouet’s “Francois I of France;” Hyacinthe Rigaud’s “King Louis XIV of France at age of 63;” and Fernand Leger’s “Three Figures.”    

“Ten Masterpieces of French Painting” will remain on view at the National Museum through June 16.

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