Paris art-lovers queue through the night to marvel at Monet
Tuesday 25 January 2011
After opening 84 hours non-stop on its final weekend, the largest ever Claude Monet exhibition set a new attendance record when it finally ended last night.
The president of the Grand Palais exhibition hall, Jean-Paul Cluzel, said: "It's going to be an absolute record for a four-month exhibition in France." Almost one million people are estimated to have seen the show since it began in September.
The grand finale provoked a frenzy like nothing seen before at a Parisian gallery. Visitors were advised to come between 3am and 4.30am on the first two nights, and between 2am and 5am on the final night. But even at 3am on Sunday, the queues lasted for three hours. By that afternoon, waiting time had reached a peak of five hours.
TheRéunion des Musées Nationaux , which co-organised the exhibition with the Musée d'Orsay, said that "despite the wait and the cold, the atmosphere has remained cheerful". Energy drinks, chocolate bars and madeleine cakes were handed out to patient exhibition-goers. At the end of the queue, a clarinettist played the same Mozart piece throughout the night, entertaining some and irritating others. Marc, a bus driver, said: "Several friends assured me that it is exceptional. These nocturnal openings are a slightly delirious opportunity to see it, which is all the better."
Since 22 September, the Grand Palais has invited the public to look at 176 works from 14 countries. The impressionist master's work has not been the subject of an extensive retrospective in Paris for 30 years. Only one exhibition in Paris has ever outdone this one: in 1967, Tutankhamun and his Time attracted 1.2 million visitors – but that lasted for six and a half months.
film Sex scene trailer sees a shirtless Jamie Dornan turn up the heat
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Three-year-old boy shoots pregnant mother and father in New Mexico
- 2 Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
- 3 Jewish community urged to boycott Cornwall village after residents vote for 'Hitlers Walk' sign to be reinstated
- 4 Benedict Cumberbatch's Alan Turing gay-rights campaign snubbed by Prince William and Kate Middleton
- 5 Kim Sears responds to swearing controversy with 'parental advisory' T-shirt at Andy Murray's Australian Open final
Daniel Radcliffe deemed 'not marketable' without his English accent
Gorillaz Phase 4: Cartoon supergroup is back as new artwork is unveiled
Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
As Better Call Saul launches, here are the other spin-off shows we need to see
Game of Thrones season 5 trailer: The first full-length look is here
Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
President Putin is a dangerous psychopath - reason is not going to work with him
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign