James A. Emanuel Poetry Night at the American Library in Paris

April 5th, 2016
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On Tuesday evening, March 29, the American Library in Paris hosted a tribute to James A. Emanuel. Born in 1921 and raised in the small town of Alliance, Nebraska, Emanuel went on to become professor of African-American poetry at the City College of New York. In 1984, following the death of his son, he moved to Paris. He died there in 2013.

The American Library’s biography of the poet states:
“James A. Emanuel was one of America’s greatest poets and academic scholars. Often overlooked, Emanuel’s fame did not equal the enormous output of his work. He published 400 poems and 13 volumes of poetry, including The Force and the Reckoning, an autobiography. He was a well-respected teacher who influenced an entire generation of students and poets.”

The evening program included readings of Emanuel’s poetry by author Jake Lamar; actress and director Ariane Crochet; professor Marcus Bruce; writer, editor, and entrepreneur Monique Y. Wells; editor and translator Wendy Johnson; and spoken-word artist Mike Ladd. Saxophonist Chansse Evans and drummer Chris Henderson provided musical accompaniment to Lamar’s reading of several of Emanuel’s jazz haikus. Following the reading, retired teacher, engraver, and photographer Godelieve Simons and retired teacher Annick Bossuet gave personal testimonials about Emanuel.

Clockwise from left: Jake Lamar, Marcus Bruce, Monique Y. Wells, Mike Ladd, Ariane Crochet, Wendy Johnson

Clockwise from left: Jake Lamar, Marcus Bruce, Monique Y. Wells, Mike Ladd, Ariane Crochet, Wendy Johnson
Photographs by www.DiscoverParis.net

Chansse Evans and Chris Henderson

Chansse Evans and Chris Henderson
Photographs by www.DiscoverParis.net

Godelieve Simons and Annick Bossuet

Godelieve Simons and Annick Bossuet
Photographs by www.DiscoverParis.net

Reading Poetry to Jazz

Reading Poetry to Jazz
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Attendees at Tribute to James A. Emanuel

Attendees at Tribute to James A. Emanuel
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

An online tribute to James A. Emanuel can be found here: http://blogcritics.org/no-more-ghettos-on-the-death-of-james-a-emanuel-poet/

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Les Vinissimes de Nicolas

March 31st, 2016
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On Thursday, March 24, the wine purveyor Nicolas held its first exclusive wine tasting – Les Vinissimes – at the Maison des Polytechniciens at the Hôtel de Pouprey in Paris’ 7th arrondissement.

Les Vinissimes de Nicolas

Nicolas organized two parallel wine tastings. The first, called Salons des Grands Vins, was for tasting prestigious wines, and the second, called Salon des Vins de Légende, was for tasting legendary (even more prestigious) wines. Accompanied by Diana Shu, caviste (wine merchant) at the Mouffetard branch of Nicolas, we visited several tables at the Salon des Grands Vins.

Pouring Wine

Pouring Wine
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Though we concentrated on red wines, we first tasted a white Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Folatières by Louis Jadot. We savored this Burgundy wine and appreciated its mineral character. But because my partner had a distinct memory of a Gevrey Chambertin that she had appreciated at a dinner that took place the night before the tasting, we moved on in the hope of finding the wine maker that had produced this particular wine.

It just so happened that the very next table that we visited was manned by the maker of the wine that she had enjoyed the previous evening. Remoissenet Père et Fils, from the Burgundy region, was offering the 2011 edition of its wine, which, we were advised, could benefit from at least a couple of additional years of aging. My partner declared that the 2008 wine that she had tasted the night before was quite different, but she enjoyed the 2011 wine as well.

We went on to taste a Meursault by Joseph Faiveley in Burgundy and several Bordeaux wines—in particular several from the AOCs (controlled designations of origin) of Saint-Estèphe, Saint-Emilion, and Margaux.

Pouring Wine

Pouring Wine
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Our favorite was a 2009 Château Durfort Vivens, 2ème Cru Classé by Lucien Lurton & Fils.

After all this, we ventured over to the Bruno Paillard champagne table and were chagrined to discover that they had run out of samples. We then sought out a sweet wine to end our tasting experience and were gratified to find an exceptional Sauternes by Château Suduiraut.

Château Suduiraut

Château Suduiraut
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

We enjoyed this immensely, particularly because it was our last sampling for the day.

Monique Y. Wells and Tom Reeves

Monique Y. Wells and Tom Reeves
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

We extend thanks to our gracious hostess, Diana Shu, for having accompanied us on this extraordinary wine adventure!

Diana Shu and Monique Y. Wells

Diana Shu and Monique Y. Wells
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

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African Americans in the City of Light – The Film

February 26th, 2016
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African Americans in the City of Light

The last conference to be held around the themes evoked by the Beauford Delaney exhibition in Paris took place last night. Entitled “African Americans in the City of Light,” the conference opened with the screening of a documentary film of the same name.

Produced by Joanne and David Burke of Blue Lion Films, this one-hour video features the story of African-American artists, writers, entertainers, and musicians who lived in Paris from the period following World War I to the Nazi occupation of France in 1940. Some of the persons featured are:

  • Josephine Baker
  • Langston Hughes
  • Palmer Hayden
  • Eugene Bullard
  • Loïs Mailou Jones

After the screening, the associate producer, Julia Browne of Walking the Spirit Tours, answered questions from the audience and facilitated lively discussion.

The film is scheduled to be released in the Fall of 2016. For further information and to place an order, contact info@africanamericansinparis.com.

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The Roots of American Music

February 18th, 2016
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On Wednesday, February 17, the cultural service of the American Embassy in Paris hosted a concert entitled “The Roots of American Music.” Soprano Nicole Taylor, accompanied by pianist Daniel J. Ernst, sang a medley of spirituals that were composed or arranged by 20th century African-American song writers.

Nicole Taylor, Soprano

Nicole Taylor, Soprano
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Daniel J Ernst, Pianist

Daniel J Ernst, Pianist
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

The backdrop for the performance was a work of art rendered by French artist Batsh.

Stage for Performance

Stage for the Performance
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Batsh

Batsh
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

More art by Batsh can be viewed on his Web site and here.

Following the wonderful performance before an appreciative audience, everyone repaired to the Green Room for beverages and hors d’œuvres. Among the attendees at the concert was Madame George Pau-Langevin, Minister of French Overseas Territories.

Madame George Pau-Langevin, Minister of French Overseas Territories

Madame George Pau-Langevin, Minister of French Overseas Territories
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

There are a number of videos of Nicole Taylor on YouTube, including this one, a performance that she gave in Doha, Qatar in 2012.

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What’s New at Discover Paris! – End-of-Year Edition

December 30th, 2015
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Discover Paris! has been quite active during this last month of 2015 – things have been so hectic that we just now realized that we’ve neglected to tell you why!

Our own Monique Y. Wells recently founded a non-profit organization called Wells International Foundation (WIF). The foundation’s inaugural project is the Beauford Delaney and Paris exhibition that we mentioned in our last “What’s New” mailing to you. This show brings together three of WIF’s focus areas of activity – the arts, study abroad, and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics).

WIF is partnering with a number of organizations, including Les Amis de Beauford Delaney, a French non-profit association that Monique founded in 2009, and Columbia Global Centers | Europe at Reid Hall in Paris to present the exhibition. It will consist of over 40 paintings and works on paper by American artist Beauford Delaney (1901-1979), many of which have never been seen by the general public before. The grand opening is scheduled for February 3, 2016 and the show will run from February 4-29, 2016.

WIF is also collaborating with J Rêve International, an organization that fosters visual and performing arts, creative education, and global exchanges to transform lives and communities. During the exhibition, J Rêve International will host a Global Educator Program workshop on STEAM education and multiple intelligences based on Beauford Delaney’s life and work. Six teachers from New York, South Korea (via Ohio), and Texas will participate in the week-long workshop designed to develop experience that equips them with the global competencies necessary to bring an international arts perspective to their schools.

Additionally, WIF is partnering with the University of Arizona to organize an Augmented Reality Project. Five students, led by Professor Bryan Carter, will come to Paris to create an app (a small, specialized program that is downloaded into mobile devices) that will allow persons attending the exhibition to scan paintings with devices such as smartphones, causing a video to appear on the screen that provides information about the painting. The teachers from the Global Educator Program will be able to use this app during their workshop in Paris and take the technology back to their respective school districts in the U.S. at the end of the program.

Teachers and students will enjoy the newest Entrée to Black Paris walking tour, Beauford Delaney’s Montparnasse, which Monique has created for the exhibition.

The University of Arizona students are currently raising money for their trip to Paris and have created a video that explains why they are so passionate about this project. View their 2’15” video at the link below and make a donation to support them. If you need a last minute tax deduction for 2015, this is a great way to get one!

https://www.crowdrise.com/universityofarizonas

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Henri Sauvage’s Stepped-terrace Apartment Building

December 17th, 2015
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Henri Sauvage's Stepped-terrace Apartment Building

Henri Sauvage’s Stepped-terrace Apartment Building
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

This stepped-terrace apartment building by architect Henri Sauvage (1873-1932) stands at 26, rue Vavin. It was constructed in 1912-1914.

Stepped terraces are not the only unusual feature of this building. Sauvage chose to cover the façade with white, glazed stoneware tiles, the material that is commonly used for the walls of most metro stations in Paris, because of the ease with which it can be washed. The use of these tiles fulfilled Sauvage’s concern for hygiene, which was a widespread social concern at the time. The tiles can also be seen as a manifestation of his desire to make a break with the past — a declaration of architectural modernity.

Sauvage built another stepped-terrace building at 13, rue des Amiraux in the 18th arrondissement.

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Rosemary’s Angels

December 10th, 2015
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Angel Cake by Rosemary Flannery

Angel Cake by Rosemary Flannery
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Graphic artist Janeen Koconis hosted a cocktail party last night for Rosemary Flannery to celebrate the publication of the French edition of Rosemary’s book Angels of Paris. Entitled Les Anges de Paris, it is available in hardcover from Amazon.

Rosemary Flannery with Anges de Paris on left and Angels of Paris on right

Rosemary Flannery with Les Anges de Paris and Angels of Paris
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Festive Spread

Festive Spread
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Animated Conversation

Animated Conversation
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Angels of Paris by Rosemary Flannery

Read my review of the English edition of Angels of Paris by clicking here: http://blog.parisinsights.com/angels-of-paris-by-rosemary-flannery/

Bonne lecture!

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Seven Authors Tell Why They Like Paris in December

November 21st, 2015
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Christmas Header for Paris Writers Connection

 

Galerie Lafayette Christmas tree 2010_2The December holidays are just around the corner! We asked the members of the Paris Writers’ Connection to tell us what they like in particular about that month.

Happy holidays and happy reading!

 

 

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Vicki Lesage, author of Confessions of a Paris Party Girl
Vicki LesageI love that the Christmas season doesn’t start too early in Paris (unlike in the US where decorations go up before you’ve even had a chance to finish eating your Halloween candy) but once it starts, it’s glorious. The French don’t shy away from festive decorations, and nearly every street has some sort of display. As you walk through the City of Light during the holiday season, you can’t help but be dazzled.

 

 

Christmas Confessions and CocktailsVicki Lesage proves daily that raising French kids isn’t as easy as the hype lets on. She penned the Paris Confessions series in between diaper changes and wine refills: Confessions of a Paris Party Girl, Confessions of a Paris Potty Trainer, Petite Confessions, and Christmas Confessions & Cocktails. She writes about the ups and downs of life in the City of Light at VickiLesage.com.

Buy now: http://www.amazon.com/Vicki-Lesage/e/B00HUZQUI4

 

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Tom Reeves, author of Dining Out in Paris – What You Need to Know before You Get to the City of Light
Tom ReevesChristmas in Paris is the most peaceful season of the year. Because many Parisians leave the city to reunite with relatives during the holidays, those who stay behind enjoy a noticeably reduced tempo of automobile and pedestrian traffic on the streets. This makes Christmas a time to relax and enjoy the city! My wife and I particularly appreciate the traditional, seasonal confections that are available in the shops. Examples include bûche de Noël, a rolled sponge cake that is decorated to resemble a Yule log, and candied chestnuts. We also enjoy strolling about to see Christmas decorations in different neighborhoods. The enormous Christmas tree that stands in front of Notre Dame Cathedral each year is particularly inspiring.

 

Tom Reeves has been a confirmed Francophile since he first took an unpaid sabbatical in 1975 to travel to France to learn the language, see the country, and pursue a diploma in French language, literature, and civilization. Returning to California in 1978, he eventually realized that while he had left France, France had never left him. He moved back permanently in 1992. Reeves’ latest book Dining Out in Paris – What You Need to Know before You Get to the City of Light helps Paris-bound travelers understand French dining customs so that they feel comfortable when entering into a French restaurant for the first time.

Buy now: http://amzn.to/1nkgCyu

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Lily Heise, author of Je T’Aime…Me Neither
Lily HeiseThe holiday season is one of the most magical times of the year in Paris. Although the days might be darker, Paris truly becomes the City of Light, but also that of joy and community. There’s a true village feel. Each subdistrict within each arrondissement proudly displays its own street lighting, shops decorate with care, residents express and indulge in extra joie de vivre which encompasses so much of the essence of Paris; good food, wine, laughter, and enjoying the moment with loved ones, something that will be especially poignant and highlighted this year.

 

Je t'aime... me neitherApril Lily Heise is a Canadian writer and romance expert based in Paris. Her writing has been featured in the Huffington Post, Conde Nast Traveler, Frommer’s, City Secrets, and DK Eyewitness Guides and other local and international publications. She is the author of Je T’Aime, Me Neither, a lively novelized memoir on her romantic misadventures and continues to share dating tips, stories, and travel features on her blog www.jetaimemeneither.com.

 

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Rosemary Flannery, author of Angels of Paris
Rosemary FlanneryWhimsical creativity and the fine French aesthetic are what makes the capital city so entrancing. Nativity scenes – “les crèches” – in Parisian churches delight both believers and non-believers. At the majestic Madeleine Church, a contemporary artist is commissioned each year to create the manger – this year it’s sculptress Pauline Ohrel. Miniature figurines carved in traditional Andalusian style on display at the Eglise de Bonne Nouvelle in the 2nd are a particular thrill to children. At the St Joseph Artisan Church in the 10th, 300 figurines re-enact the birth of Jesus in a virtual museum. And this year, Notre Dame Cathedral challenged its parishioners to a “stable-making” contest. All will be unveiled on the first weekend of Advent, November 28 – 29.

 

Angels of ParisRosemary Flannery is an author, photographer and tour guide. She arrived in France in1989, just in time for the bicentenary of the Revolution and the inauguration of the Louvre museum and its Pyramid. Passionate about Parisian architecture, she wrote Angels of Paris: An Architectural Tour of the History of Paris, celebrating the illustration of angels in the city’s facades, fountains and rooftops. Released in 2012 by The Little Bookroom NYC and distributed by Random House, her book is now available in French as Les Anges de Paris: Voyage au coeur de Paris, by Editions Exergue.

 

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Leonard Pitt, author of Walks Through Lost Paris
Leonard PittParis at Christmas is perfect for Americans. We don’t have to get caught up in the madness of the holiday and can enjoy it for all the best it has to offer. The holiday atmosphere permeates everything everywhere and provides the perfect background for the cafés, restaurants, a little shopping, and visits with friends. The city scintillates with light and joyful anticipation. If you get a chance to do Christmas there, don’t pass it up.
 
 
 
 
Walks through Lost ParisLeonard Pitt is an author, actor, and teacher. He lived in Paris for seven years in the 1960s and learned nothing about the city. It was only much later, in the 1990s, when he became shocked upon learning what he did not know that he started reading and researching everything he could about Paris and its history. As someone once said, “If you want to learn about something, write a book about it.” Leonard has written three books about Paris. His first, Walks Through Lost Paris was a bestseller in the French capital. In addition he has written, Paris, A Journey Through Time, and Paris Postcards, the Golden Age. His new book, My Brain On Fire, Paris and Other Obsessions, is a memoir. It will be published later this year by Counterpoint Press.

 

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Shari Leslie Segall, author of 90+ Ways You Know You’re Becoming French
Shari Leslie SegallThe best part of the holiday season in Paris is the shop windows. Bakeries, charcuteries, candy shops (Oh, especially the candy shops, and especially the chocolates!), caterers with their sculpted ducklings in feast-day fields of greens, produce-merchant pyramids of pommes, cheese vendors. Even fishmongers! You think what the French do best is prepare food? What they do supremely is display it. Let the Louvre be closed on Tuesdays—go out and pick up an end-of-year-holiday baguette and you’ll have all the art you need.
 
 
 
90+ Ways to Know You're Becoming FrenchShari Leslie Segall, is the author of France-themed books and articles. She teaches English and cross-cultural communication at the prestigious Institut des Etudes Politiques (Sciences Po) and at the French Military Academy. She is the founding director of Foreign Affairs, which provides linguistic and cross-cultural training and creates English-language documents for executives. Among her other works is 90+ Ways You Know You’re Becoming French, a just-for-fun little gem full of perspicacious cultural observations. The palm-sized book, illustrated with beautiful watercolors, is an amusing way to measure acquired “Frenchness” for those who have lived in France or studied its language: such as, “You know you’re becoming French when your holiday menu would not be complete without foie gras, oysters, and glazed chestnuts.”

90+ Ways You Know You’re Becoming French is available at select shops in Paris and on the FUSAC site http://store.fusac.fr.

 

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Lisa Vanden Bos, creator of the Speak Easy Puzzles
Lisa Vanden BosMy favorite part of Christmas in Paris is the holiday lights sponsored by the local businesses. On a wet night they not only light up the sky overhead but also reflect off the wet pavement. A street with lights is so much warmer and gay. I honestly feel that people are happier on those streets. In 2014 rue Lecourbe in the 15th arrondissement was my personal favorite. The ribbons of lights that zigzagged down about 600 meters of rue Lecourbe were stunning. Standing at the top of rue Lecourbe where it intersects with avenue Pasteur and looking to the south the effect of the light ribbon was as if it were a continuous canopy over the street. I sure hope they do this display again this year!
 
 
 
Speak Easy PuzzleLisa Vanden Bos, originally from New Jersey and in Paris since 1989, is co-owner of FUSAC, the magazine and website for English speakers in Paris. She has created three volumes of the Speak Easy Puzzles book which helps people to learn French and English idiomatic expressions in a fun way. She also collaborated on the book 90+ Ways You Know You’re Becoming French. Lisa never tires of exploring Paris and its outskirts, France and French language and culture.

All three volumes of the Speak Easy Puzzle book are available on the FUSAC site at http://store.fusac.fr

 

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Seven Authors Tell Why They Like Paris in December

Alliance Française de Minneapolis/St Paul: where French culture meets the Twin Cities
by Sabrina Kennelly

November 13th, 2015
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Within a network of over 1,134 Alliance Française chapters worldwide, the Alliance Française Minneapolis/St Paul is the only French cultural center in the state of Minnesota. In the 1920s, Professor Jacques Fermand of the University of Minnesota began the Twin Cities chapter with only a small group of interested members. Now, AFMSP has over 1,000 members and welcomes 900 students annually.

A propos
Located in the Warehouse district in downtown Minneapolis, Alliance Française Mpls/St Paul serves as a center for French-language activities, including its monthly Wine and Ciné Club, the promotion and presentation of arts and culture of France and French-speaking cultures around the world with celebrations such as its Le Mois de la Francophonie, and various educational components such as our language classes and library consisting of over 5,000 books in French.

Alliance Française of Minneapolis - St Paul Open House

Alliance Française of Minneapolis/St Paul – Open House
Photograph courtesy of AFMSP

In addition to these events, AFMSP hosts numerous events for French-speakers of all ages (not to mention last month’s fantastic presentation with the owner of this blog). Activities include teleconferences with the grandmother of the French nouvelle-vague Agnes Varda, and French economist Thomas Piketty, viewing a documentary on the French liberation movement “Je ne suis pas féministe mais…” with director Sylvie Tissot, book clubs, monthly breakfast conversation groups for the community, Bastille Day celebrations, musical events, concerts, lectures, conferences, holiday celebrations, and more. Venez nous rendre visite on our Facebook page to see what we are doing next!

Evènements à venir
Our variety of special events includes an annual Fête D’Hiver, which will feature a Francophone-inspired holiday market, a celebration of Beaujolais Nouveau 2015 with Jeunes Cadres Dynamiques, and our mini-class sessions ranging from cooking to learning about winter holidays around the world. To get more information about our latest events and classes please check out our Website.

Haïtian Performance - Le Mois de la Francophonie

Haïtian Performance – Le Mois de la Francophonie
Photograph courtesy of AFMSP

With over 150 events annually and a staff from around the world, Alliance Française Mpls/St Paul has a lot to offer to the community. There is no doubt that we play an influential role within the Twin Cities and Rochester community through our cultural and educational opportunities as well as our Executive Director’s role as an Honorary Consul for the state of Minnesota. For more information on Alliance Française Mpls/St Paul please visit our social media pages (Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook).

Sabrina Kennelly is marketing and communications intern at the Alliance Française of Minneapolis/St Paul.

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Liège and the Louvre – Partners in Art

September 15th, 2015
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September 14 was a grand day for France and the city of Liège, Belgium. A series of events unfolded to announce a cultural partnership that will be anchored by a collaboration between La Boverie, Liège’s fine arts museum, and the Louvre museum in Paris.

Fabienne Reuter, General Delegate of Wallonia-Bruxelles in Paris

Fabienne Reuter, General Delegate of Wallonia-Bruxelles in Paris
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

The last event of the day celebrated the La Boverie-Louvre partnership with a reception and presentation at the Belgian Embassy. Madame Fabienne Reuter, General Delegate of Wallonia-Brussels in Paris, opened the ceremony by recalling her childhood memories of the unique site where La Boverie now stands. She then introduced the first speaker of the evening.

Willy Demeyer - Mayor of Liège

Willy Demeyer – Mayor of Liège
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Willy Demeyer, Mayor of Liège in Belgium, took the stage and spoke passionately about La Boverie, which is currently under renovation in Liège.

Vincent Pomarède - Director of Cultural Programming at the Louvre

Vincent Pomarède – Director of Cultural Programming at the Louvre
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

He was followed by Vincent Pomarède, Director of Cultural Programming at the Louvre, who shared his enthusiasm for the partnership and spoke about the theme of “In Open Air,” the inaugural exposition to be held at La Boverie in May 2016. The show is still in the planning stage; details will be forthcoming in the near future.

François Dethier, Associate Director of Curtius Brewery - left - Michel Cloes,  - right

François Dethier (left) and Michel Cloes (right)
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Michel Cloes, Honorary Consul of France for the Provinces of Liège and Luxembourg and organizer of the event, was in attendance. He and François Dethier, Associate Director of Curtius Brewery in Liège, pose next to the Belgium flag, each holding a glass of Curtius beer.

Curtius Brewery was one of the supplies of Belgium products that were served at last night’s reception.

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