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.
TVEnough to make ardent arachnophobes think twice
Will explain back story to fictional kingdom Westeros
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 'Nasa Confirms Six Days of Darkness in December': No, they don't - it's a hoax
- 2 Number of global billionaires has doubled since the financial crisis
- 3 Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
- 4 Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
- 5 North Korean officials 'publicly executed for watching South Korean soap operas'
This is what a film sex scene actually looks like on set (mostly awkward)
Cumberbacklash: Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange riles Marvel fans
Downton Abbey season 5 episode 6 - review: Thomas and Lady Edith show sad signs of the times
Orson Welles' unfinished final 'masterpiece' to be released for centenary
The Apprentice 2014 firing: Alan Sugar 'gets rid of the no-hopers' with triple elimination
Pope Francis declares evolution and Big Bang theory are real and God is not 'a magician with a magic wand'
Huge surge in Ukip support after EU funding row, according to new poll
Ukip ‘exploiting grooming scandal’ to secure party’s first police chief
Nigel Farage: 'There’s nothing wrong with white people blacking up'
Muslims, immigration and teenage pregnancy: British people are ignorant about almost everything
Nigel Farage and Frankie Boyle clash over Andrew Lawrence's 'Mock the Week' criticism