Postcard from... Paris


Anne Penketh
Monday 06 October 2014 01:51

Only days after reportedly being accused of being “hopeless” by the managing director of John Lewis, the French have demonstrated their flair for innovation and fun in the latest incarnation of the “nuits blanches” (white nights) in Paris.

City authorities left nothing to chance by having people follow a blue line eastwards across the left bank for the 13th annual all-night street art events which ran until 7am yesterday morning. Organiser José-Manuel Gonçalvès described it as “artistic hiking.” The 800,000 copies of the official programme had run out by 7.30pm on Saturday night. Clasping their smartphones, crowds of Parisians and tourists queued at Austerlitz station for a light show which flooded the station undergoing a renovation.

An illuminated ghostly figure by Antony Gormley looked down on passers-by from a rooftop of the Sorbonne which threw open its doors to visitors. Parisians still found a reason to complain. Although the Paris Metro authorities, the RATP, had two lines running throughout the night free to passengers, the trains and buses were swamped by customers. One disappointed traveller tweeted: “I finished my evening at 2am. I got home at 6. I love the RATP on a nuit blanche.”

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