Palais Royal ... during the day

I made a post about Palais Royal at night a couple of days ago and also a post in July 2007, to which you can refer if you wish some more complete coverage and history about the place.

Virginia, as we know, a frequent visitor to Paris, seems to be love with this place and draw my attention to the fact that the “Colonnes de Buren” which have been under restoration for some 15 months, now are visible again. This made me go back to Palais Royal, this time during daytime. Buren, a French artist, placed these columns in the “Cour d’Honneur” of the Palais Royal in 1986. They were supposed to reflect on water, but the “water-pool” was never created. The artist found that the columns after some 15 years had been degraded and menaced to have them destroyed if not restored. Finally they have thus been restored for some 6 million € (= 8,5 million $)! For obvious reasons, this has been severely criticised, including by other artists, desperately waiting for some nice jobs and contracts. Do they look much better today? (Some coins on the top of one of the columns may pay for some of the costs?)

I believe I’m a great friend of contemporary art, which often can be nicely incorporated in older environment, and the columns don’t “disturb” me as such, but...

In the adjacent court, Cour d’Orléans, another (Belgian) artist, Pol Bury, created more or less simultaneously some spheres, which obviously need no restoration, possibly some cleaning.

The Palais Royal was, this grey and rather cold day, almost as empty as it had been when I passed night-time, which may be noticed from the top picture. The garden was almost empty, except for a dog, a bird ... and a rose bud!!!

The lack of leaves on the trees made it easier to notice the richness of the wall decorations.

The relative rarity of people strolling along the galleries made it easier to notice the mosaics on the floor.

It’s interesting to study some of the old shop signs, including wig-makers, lace-makers...

Most of these “-makers” are of course not here anymore and you can instead find some quite fashionable shops, like Stella McCartney, Marc Jacobs...

One of the fashion shops sells vintage models of Chanel, Lanvin, Dior...

... and there are a number of art and antique galleries.

Some of them sell old official orders and decorations. (You can buy them, but of course not wear them, at least publicly!)

One should of course not neglect some cafés and restaurants to which I referred in my previous posts.

I wish you a nice weekend!


Starman said...

I particularly like the photo of the dog and naked old man.

Louis la Vache said...

That dog is expressing perfectly «Louis'» feellings about those columns. The only thing in Paris «Louis» hates more is le centre Pompidou, which looks like a Lego structure on bad drugs...

Harriet said...

I personally would have preferred to see the other end of the dog. I'm sure he was embarrassed that you caught him just as "nature was calling."

Loved seeing the mosaic floors. And your top photo is great.

Olivier said...

je vois sur une photo, que toi aussi tu as un fisheye ;o)) oui les étrangers ont le droit de vote sur mon blog ;o)) (en accord avec mon maire ;o)) )

claude said...

C'est un des beaux endroits de Paris que les colonnes de Buren dénaturent quelque peu. Je suis contre et encore contre le fait qu'elles ont été restaurées pour mieux revenir et que tout ça ça cout la peau des fesses.
Je crois t'avoir déjà dit que dans le petit village typique de Sérignan près de Béziers, la Mairie a demandé à Buren de faire une oeuvre (je ne sais plus si c'est une fontaine où quoi d'autre), mais c'est une horreur.
Ni le Palais Royal ni Sérignan avait besoin de l'oeuvre de cet "artiste" Il y a des villes nouvelles pour cela. Na !

Adam said...

I think the columns are interesting, but also that they should have been treated as a temporary installation. They look very dated today, even after the very expensive renovation. I would probably have paid money to see Buren come and destroy them!

delphinium said...

moi j'aime bien le chien qui vient de déposer sa crotte. :-))
Bon ces fameuses colonnes ne sont pas très belles à mes yeux et je peux comprendre que cela gênent certains que leur restauration coûte si cher... mais l'art c'est l'art
Je préfère les sphères de l'autre artiste et j'aime bien le reflet du monsieur qui prend la photo dans l'une d'elles. Je te souhaite un bon WE piteur des villes.

Ruth said...

I will ignore the dog (;-) and admire the beautiful expensive pillars, but especially the old signs. Maybe you are right they used some of the pillar change to fund the restoration! Ha.

Bon week-end, Peter.

Bagman and Butler said...

It pleases me greatly to see that someone I consider one of the world's great photographers can pause to take a shot of a dog pooping. I do love the spheres and columns.

Claudia said...

Some beautiful, classical shots here. I really, really like the first photo (won't mention the dog pic, hahaha..).
6 million € is a LOT of money that could be better spent, especially during difficult times like these (and I say this in spite of loving those column).

Have a good weekend!

Catherine said...

En me baladant, j'avais toujours regardé les 2 oeuvres de façon dissociées....En les observant sur tes photos, je me dis Quelle belles pistes de bowling dans la ligne de mire !!!
Moi, je serai de celles qui votent "pour"....J'aime bien les petits brins de fantaisie moderne même au coeur de bâtiments classiques....Le coût de leur renovation ? La polémique l'a rendu public mais combien d'autres dépenses que l'état s'évertue à nous cacher sont excessives. Sujet senisible....

Cergie said...

Je te laisse le chien, je prends le bourton de rose. Toi aussi donc tu as posté auj des colonnes et de la rénovation.
Dans mon petit bureau j'ai les médailles dont la légion d'honneur de mon grand'père mais je ne compte pas les porter.

Virginia said...

Haaaaaa, well you certainly found something at the PR that I have NOT photographed, le chien!!!:) I'm glad my hot tip made your return and take these great photos. As for the shops, the next visit I am actually walking IN Didier Ludot and have have a look around. If you can find us a banque to rob, maybe I can even buy something!

So did you get more snow after I flew off? Nothing prettier than the PR in the snow. I don't even mind the columns!

Karin B (Looking for Ballast) said...

I am with Delphinium and the others about loving the dog photo. I am totally laughing at that photo! :D Haha! Good catch.

Ahhh, I still did not go to the Palais Royal, but I *really* will one of these days. Your photos are very much encouragement to do so! :)

I really hope you will have a great weekend, too, and thank you for yet another wonderful post. I'm off to catch up on reading the others which you have posted in the days since I was last here.

Be well!

BLOGitse said...

wow, what a tour!
I'm out of juice! Huh, so much to see again.
Thank you for sharing this great sightseeing!

Rakesh Vanamali said...

Awesome photo tour! For a moment I thought this was the Elysee, but then the reading stood me corrected!

Do have a wonderful weekend!

Yaëlle said...

some great & funny pictures!
makes me feel going there this we to see the brand-new columns:-)

Yaëlle said...

some great & funny pictures!
makes me feel going there this we to see the brand-new columns:-)

Lifecruiser Travel Blog said...

I saw your comment on Vagabondes blog and you wrote one word I'm highly interested in: travel, so I click on your link and to my surprise: You're a Swede! Like us!

And not only that, I really love the blog you have here - great written AND with so many great photos! Both hubby and me are photo freaks. *giggles*

I'll definitely be back to read more - to be sure we'll remember it (bad memories hi hi) I'll put up a link to your blog too :-)

Vi ses!

Anonymous said...

Don't stop posting such stories. I like to read stories like this. BTW add more pics :)

alice said...

Faut-il voir un lien entre le chien et les colonnes? Les crottes passent, les colonnes restent... ;-)

Trotter said...

Hi Peter! I always liked those columns, but six million seems to be a bit excessive...
For the rest, it only misses the Conseil d'Etat and the Conseil Constitutionnel... ;)

rauf said...

Not many palaces in my city of Chennai Peter, a couple of Nawab palaces and rest what the British left. None so grand like the one you have posted here, Palais Royal. They have such columns at the gates. The French are known for near perfect restoration work specially after the war. i can understand the seriousness behind the allocation of funds for the purpose. i would say the money well spent as i can see it in your exquisite pictures. There is always corruption to account for. i am actually impressed with the importance given to restoration work. This kind of seriousness is lacking in India as many historical buildings and monuments are in a state of ruins. We have many many Palaces with highly intricate craftsmanship in the state of Rajasthan, around Delhi and other north Indian towns.

Thank you for the grand tour Peter. Here i would like to ask you if there is any monument honouring Jean Baptiste Lamarck in Paris. i forgot to add his name in my current post which i would add today. i sincerely apologise for this omission.

Alexa said...

Visit often, but without commenting. But I want to thank you for these wonderful photos of one of my favorite places in Paris. Just hope the dog's owner cleaned up after him! As for the colonnes, they're like asparagus to me—I keep trying to like them, but just don't. Maybe part of their appeal is that so many people have an opinion about them.

Alain said...

Je vois que les travaux de restauration des colonnes sont terminés. Moi, j'aime bien.

Parisbreakfasts said...

LOVE the first photo!!
and the dog
and the signage
the colonnes for me are crottes

PeterParis said...

Good that you found something to particularly please you! :-)

Louis la Vache:
I have nothing against the columns as such, but what I find unfortunate is that these modern art works often resist badly against time. To have to spend all this money on renovation after relatively few years is disappointing! :-)

There was not time to get him from the other side nor to ask about his feelings! :-)

PeterParis said...

Donc, je vais voter! :-)

Je ne suis pas étonné par tes commentaires! J'ai l'impression que Buren est un peu favorisé par les décideurs. :-)

As said above, I feel that's it unfortunate to already have to renovate and to have to spend so much money for it! :-)

PeterParis said...

Le monsieur reflété te remercie et t'embrasse! :-)

There were only some very small coins! :-)

Bagman and Butler:
Are you kidding me about may photographic talent? :-)

PeterParis said...

Thanks ... and I believe we then have the same feeling about the money spent! :-)

Moi aussi, j'aime bien les petits brins de fantaisie, mais je suis un peu triste pour les autres artistes qui on été privés de ces 6 million €! :-)

Tu vas sans doute recevoir ta propre légion d'honneur! :-)

PeterParis said...

A bank robbery! You must ask the help from someone else! :-)

Yes, you must visit PR, maybe a warmer and greener day! :-)

I hope you found a juice rather quickly! :-)

PeterParis said...

V Rakesh:
There are lot of nice building to see here ... and elsewhere! :-)

Nice to see you here again! Walking or biking to PR? :-)

Lifecruiser sound like a nice occupation! :-)

PeterParis said...

More pictures! You are joking! I feel I always put too many! :-)

Très subtile! :-)

I believe (hope) that I mentioned the "conseils" in my previous posts! :-)

PeterParis said...

Thanks for these long comments!
There is a statu of Mararck at the entrance of the Jardin des Plantes. You can actually see it in a very small format on my post about the Jardin. :-)

The owner did not clean up! However, more and more dog owners take care! :-)

Bien! Moi, j'aime plus ou moins, mais m'insurge un peu contre le montant de la rénovation ... et déjà le besoin de rénovation!

PeterParis said...

Nice that you know the word "crottes"! :-)

Virginia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Virginia said...

Oh Peter, n'ayez pas peur! We will be fine! :)

Cezar and Léia said...

I liked a lot those columns!
Also loved your pictures, the portrait reflection is wonderful but that "dog"...Hmmmm I didn't like that, sorry! LOL

Nathalie H.D. said...

Des avantages de l'hiver : c'est vrai que les arbres nus permettent de mieux voir les magnifiques détails des façades, mais il faut être un esprit positif pour le dire !!!! :-)))

Il y a ici à Avignon une école d'art où on apprend à faire les dorures sous verre comme on en voit ici pour tes anciennes enseignes de dentellière, graveur etc. C'est un vieux métier qu'on s'applique à ne pas perdre, heureusement, ne serait-ce que pour restaurer les anciens panneaux !

Vagabonde said...

I loved your tour of the Palais Royal – ce que j’ai aimé le plus ce sont toutes les enseignes de ces boutiques anciennes, Je crois que depuis que j’habite aux USA j’aime plus les choses anciennes qu’avant. Quand j’étais à Paris je n’aimais que les choses modernes. Next time I am in Paris I’ll go there to take pictures.

PeterParis said...


I'm afraid that the dog is part of the Paris landscape! :-)

Bonne nouvelle! :-)

PeterParis said...

A good mixture of old an new is possible! :-)

Anonymous said...

Love photomontage you created and the varied subject matter. Wonderful - all of it!

PeterParis said...

Thanks! :-)

StyleSpy said...

I have never seen the Buren columns without children crawling all over them, at any time of year. While I find this delightful, apparently they were not designed for this sort of wear & tear. Hopefully when they spent that crazy amount of money on restoring them they took that into consideration & toughened them up a bit, or else they're going to need another 6 mil in a few years.

PeterParis said...

That's exactly also how I see it: I have nothing against the columns, but this kind of art should be sufficiently resistant and not have to be restored regularly, for this kind of amount! In the meantime, so many artists are starving and looking for jobs! :-)

James said...

Hello Peter. I've been doing a lot of traveling so I have some catching up to do with blogs. I know Palais Royal very well infact that is the only place that I've stayed in Paris. Each time we go to Paris we rent an apartment that is is inbetween a shop and a restaurant in Palais Royal. Even when I see it online it feels like my home away from home.

I like this post very much.

PeterParis said...

You have found a nice place to stay!! :-)

Maya said...

You caught that dog in a compromising position! I like the self portrait in the ball too.

PeterParis said...

I was a bit ashamed about the dog photo..., but now it's there! :-)

richard said...

Hi Peter

I've stopped here for a bit of a rest after catching up with your recent posts. I agree with Adam about the pillars - a temporary installation would suit it more - how often will it need renovated? And it does rather prevent you getting a nice photograph of the facade if that's what you wanted.

He "threatened" to remove them, and bullied them into spending so much money - who would have thought artists had such power!