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[5 Jun 2017 | Comments Off on AAPA Members Visit World’s Biggest Auction Space]
AAPA Members Visit World’s Biggest Auction Space

The AAPA’s evening field trip on May 18 to Drouot, Paris’ historic and esteemed auction house, was an eye-opener to most of the group who had never experienced a high-powered auction in full swing.
Drouot opened in 1852 and is the world’s largest public auction space, with 18 auction halls where 110  affiliated auctioneers sell off objects to the highest bidders from premium art works to more humble possessions. Today, some 500,000 items a year pass through Drouot – art, furniture, wine and curios from past centuries as well as younger …

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[25 Jan 2017 | Comments Off on Pompidou Center’s Attraction Still Rising After 40 Years]
Pompidou Center’s Attraction Still Rising After 40 Years

Terror attacks scared off visitors to the Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay last year, but the numbers kept on rising for the Pompidou Centre, its president Serge Lasvignes told AAPA members over lunch on Jan. 11 as the centre marks its 40th anniversary.
The nine percent rise at the Pompidou – 3.33 million people turned up in 2016 – was because the bulk of its visitors are French and they see the modern art museum as their own local cultural centre to which they return again and again, Mr. Lasvignes explained.
The …

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[14 Dec 2016 | Comments Off on Le Canard Enchainé Celebrates 100 Years of Needling the Establishment]
Le Canard Enchainé Celebrates 100 Years of Needling the Establishment

PARIS—Drawing on his large stock of entertaining anecdotes, Erik Emptaz, the editor of Le Canard Enchainé, looked back over the French satirical weekly’s 100 years of existence when he met the AAPA on Dec. 7.
A solid turnout at the Bonne Bière heard Emptaz comment on a vast range of subjects, including the paper’s independence from advertisers and big business shareholders, the recent surprises of Brexit, the US presidential election, and François Fillon as the right/centre candidate for next year’s French presidential election.
Emptaz, who joined the Canard in 1978 and …

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[1 Nov 2016 | Comments Off on New-Look American Institution in Paris Gets the Once-Over]
New-Look American Institution in Paris Gets the Once-Over

The recent renovation of the American Library was done with the user in mind, Director Charles Trueheart told an early bird group of AAPA members and their guests over coffee and viennoiseries on Oct. 11. We met before the opening to the public at 10 AM in a spacious, carpeted downstairs book-lined meeting area, formerly a dark and forbidding basement for books.
“The new plan provides a mental map for the user. When you walk in the door, you can instantly see straight ahead to the …

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[4 Oct 2016 | Comments Off on Young Audience Gives Standing Ovation at Paris Opera]
Young Audience Gives Standing Ovation at Paris Opera

Most of the audience looked as though it would have been better suited to a rock concert. Certainly not a preview of a new, modern-day production of Camille Saint-Saëns’ 19th-century opera Samson and Delilah at the Paris Opera Bastille on October 1. Not only were they young (under 28 years of age), but they had all bought tickets at the rock-bottom price of 10 euros each.
The performance was part of the Opera’s new strategy to cultivate a new generation of opera-goers by making tickets cheaper than the cost of …

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[3 Oct 2016 | Comments Off on AFP’s CEO Briefs AAPA on N. Korean Expansion]
AFP’s CEO Briefs AAPA on N. Korean Expansion

Opening a bureau in North Korea, arguably the world’s most secretive state, inevitably involves making compromises, Emmanuel Hoog, the CEO of Agence France-Presse, conceded in a meeting on Sept. 20 with the AAPA.
AFP inaugurated its bureau in Pyongyang in early September in a deal
with KCNA, North Korea’s official news agency, and it has a permanent
staff there of a North Korean photographer and a videographer.
The local staff will likely not be able to file anything that offends
the ruling party. But the agreement also allows AFP to regularly send
teams of foreign text, …

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[7 Jun 2016 | Comments Off on AAPA Gets the Lowdown on Art Risks, Antiquities Theft]
AAPA Gets the Lowdown on Art Risks, Antiquities Theft

AAPA members and their guests now understand the illegal trade in cultural objects and the natural and human risks that owners of art works must address after meeting with senior insurance company executives and a senior police officer over breakfast for a panel discussion on May 25.
The meeting was hosted by AXA Art, a division of leading French insurer AXA, in the Hotel de La Vaupalière, an 18th century listed building that’s part of AXA’s headquarters.
Over 20 international journalists based in Paris attended, to hear and interact …

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[30 Apr 2015 | Comments Off on Philharmonie Seeks to Break Down Social Barriers]
Philharmonie Seeks to Break Down Social Barriers

 
AAPA members enjoyed a rare privilege on March 25 when they visited the Philharmonie de Paris, the city’s brand-new classical music concert hall.
 
Located in the north east of Paris near the Porte de Pantin, a popular, working class area known better for its “Zenith” rock and pop music venue, the Philharmonie opened in January to resounding success, confounding critics who predicted that it wouldn’t attract the well-heeled classical music aficionados who frequent concert halls in the more genteel areas of Paris.
 
The project was first conceived in 2006 out of a …

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[29 Mar 2015 | Comments Off on AAPA Meets Culture Minister Pellerin]
AAPA Meets Culture Minister Pellerin

Getting big multinational corporations like Google Inc to pay more to local internet providers for the bandwidth they use was just one of the topics when Culture and Communication Minister Fleur Pellerin met the AAPA on March 11.
 
Speaking off-the-record to around 20 AAPA members in the gilded Salon des Maréchaux of  her ministry near Palais Royal, Ms. Pellerin touched on a number of topics, including France’s position on excluding culture in the negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade Investment Partnership between the European Union and the U.S., and ensuring that people …

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[18 Mar 2015 | Comments Off on AAPA Gets A Sneak Preview of Châtelet’s “Singin’ in the Rain”]
AAPA Gets A Sneak Preview of Châtelet’s “Singin’ in the Rain”

Some 30 AAPA members and their guests now have a better idea of what goes into producing a world-renowned musical after their privileged behind-the-scenes visit to the Théâtre du Châtelet’s production of “Singin’ in the Rain” on March 6.
 
We enjoyed an hour-long tête-à-tête with the show’s director Robert Carson, choreographer Stephen Mear, dramatist Ian Burton, musical director Gareth Valentine, and the director of the Châtelet Theatre, Jean-Luc Choplin.
 
The show opened March 12, runs through March 26, and will return to Paris for a second run at the Châtelet for …