Daniel Buren got really angry this winter about his Palais-Royal columns deterioration and the state’s reluctance to start any restoration. He went so mad that he threatened to remove and destroy his creation.
At this point, last January, Christine Albanel, who is in charge of cultural issues, came to him and promised that restoration works would start within a month.
So I came back to Palais-Royal this February, and guess what ? Mrs Albanel kept her word.
Buren’s columns are not the only modern installation in Palais-Royal.
The two fountains by Pol Bury are less controversial. On sunny days, the metal balls reflect the garden’s classic columns.
And it’s also fun to play with your own reflection.
Behind the colonnade, the gates open on the proper Palais-Royal gardens and its classical statues.
People sit in the winter sun
Girls chat by the classical fountain
And on a side row, Gaïa, Mother Earth, is watching the place: it is the last remain of an exhibition of modern sculpture on mythological themes by a young Greek artist, Vana Xenou.
You can go in or leave Palais-Royal gardens by the side arcades, west on rue Montpensier.
Going up rue de Montpensier, you will find the Palais-Royal theater, playing mostly comedies. Now showing, up to March 1, a play (in French) by Woody Allen “Puzzle”. It’s a lovely eighteenth century theater.
and next to it, on rue de Beaujolais, the Grand Véfour restaurant.
It also offers a beautiful eighteenth century setting.
And it is one the best Paris restaurants, 3 stars on guide Michelin and 18/20 on Gault et Millau, two major French guides for hotels and restaurants. Of course, it’s also quite expensive. 88 euros (lunch only), large menu 268 euros, carte about 200/220 euros.
Jardins du Palais-Royal, colonnes de Buren and fontaines de Pol Bury : enter place Colette, Metro Palais-Royal.
Théâtre du Palais- Royal, 38 rue Montpensier 75001 Paris, tel 33(0)1 42 97 40 00. Tuesday to Friday show at 20.30, Saturday 17 and 21. Programs, reservation and virtual visit on : http://www.theatrepalaisroyal.com/
Restaurant le Grand Véfour 17 rue de Beaujolais Metro Palais-Royal, tel 33(0)1 42 96 56 27, fax 33(0)1 42 86 80 71. Closed Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday, April 10 to 17, all August and December 24 to 31. Reservation, all information and visit on : http://www.grand-vefour.com/