All the news and inspiration you need to inform your next trip to France.
For the 30th time, the French capital will be the place for lovers and collectors of art and antiquities as La Biennale Paris comes to town from 8-16 September. The dome-roofed Grand Palais off the Champs-élysées is used like an opulent jewel box to contain the precious items from nearly 100 arts and antiques dealers, displayed in 20 galleries.
In addition to paintings, furniture, jewellery and many other objects, La Biennale Paris will welcome a special collection, L’empereur sous la Verrière (glass roof). The works have been assembled by Pierre-jean Chalençon, a flamboyant collector nicknamed ‘the Emperor’ (he even wears a coronation ring and the stamp pendant of Napoléon Bonaparte’s youngest brother, Jérôme, who was briefly king of Westphalia).
Chalençon will be sharing his passion for the history of Napoléon through some of the 1,200 objects he has found over a lifetime, making it one of the world’s most important collections of its kind.
As well as the main displays, La Biennale Paris, which became an annual event last year, stages talks, conferences and side-exhibitions, affirming its commitment to French l’art de vivre and contemporary creativity. biennale-paris.com
The Belle Époque resort of Deauville on the Côte Fleurie in Normandy rolls out the red carpet once again from 31 August to 9 September for the 44th Festival du Cinéma Américain. More than 100 movies will be presented at three different sites in the town – the Centre Internationale de Deauville, the Lucien Barrière Casino and the Le Morny Cinema – showcasing American cinema in all its diversity, from blockbusters to indie shorts. Star-spotting opportunities abound, too, throughout the festival. A day pass costs €35. festival-deauville.com
From 15-16 September, hundreds of monuments, public and private buildings will open their doors (some only on this occasion) to welcome visitors for free for the Journées Européennes du Patrimoine. The theme for this year is ‘The Art of Sharing’ and dovetails with the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018, which aims to celebrate cultural heritage across the 50 or so European countries involved in the programme, helping to keep that heritage alive. journeesdupatrimoine. culturecommunication.gouv.fr
LOVE THE LINGO
The city of Limoges is the focus of a multi-disciplinary arts festival exploring the diversity of cultures in the French-speaking world, particularly Africa. Les Francophonies en Limousin, which runs from 26 September to 6 October, is made up of dance, theatre, music, concerts and street performances from global artists, and opens with a huge extravaganza. Tickets cost from €15, but there are also free events. lesfrancophonies.fr
Following the success of the first Jardins Ouverts event in Île-de-france last year, the initiative is returning in 2018 with nearly 200 gardens open to the public on the weekend of 29-30 September. The theme is ‘Les Potagers’ (vegetable gardens) and all gardens in the Île-de-france region are invited to take part by opening to the public and offering cultural activities from live music to workshops. Some of the more famous gardens taking part are the Potager du Roi at Versailles, the Château de Saint-jean de Beauregard and Les Jardins de Courances. iledefrance.fr/jardinsouverts
ABOVE AND LEFT: The glass dome of the Grand Palais envelops displays and stands at La Biennale Paris; BELOW: A samurai warrior sculpture at the 2017 Biennale
FROM TOP: The famous boardwalk at Deauville; Performers on stage at the 2017 Francophonies Limousin