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France Travel News 09/22/2010

  • Air France Will Fly From Orlando Next Year

    Air France announced Tuesday that it will start nonstop service from Orlando to Paris next June. The airline will operate three flights per week from Charles de Gaulle Airport in France to Orlando International Airport in Florida.

  • Follow the Monet: New exhibit debuts in Paris

    The chain-smoking family man is one of the most famous painters of all time, and his prolific career is the subject of a major art exhibition opening today at the Grand Palais in Paris. Some 33,000 culture vultures already have reserved tickets to the Monet retrospective, the largest in France in 30 years. It features nearly 200 of his works cherry picked from 70 museums around the world.

  • Quadruple amputee plans swim from Europe to Africa

    Frenchman Phillippe Croizon, who swims using leg prostheses with fins attached, also has an inspirational message for anyone discouraged or facing difficulties. "You only need to want (something), and then it becomes possible to go beyond your limits," he told the AP on Monday, two days after crossing the English Channel, which is 21 miles (34 kilometers) at its narrowest point. Croizon, 42, had expected his weekend swim from Britain to France to take up to 24 hours. Instead, he reached the cliffs of Wissant in northern France on Saturday night after only 13 and a half hours.

  • Disneyland Paris celebrates its 20th anniversary!

    Disneyland Paris will celebrate its 20th anniversary in a little under 18 months. In the world of Disney theme parks, where these corporate birthday events enjoy year-long festivities of a Soviet May Day-style intensity, you can be sure that the Paris jamboree will be given particularly special treatment.

  • France champions innovative financing for development

    France is one of the biggest supporters of so-called innovative financing methods for aid; it was the first country to introduce a tax on airlines to help pay for aid. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon calls France a "champion" of the air travel tax, which has spread to South Korea, Chile, Madagascar, Mauritius and Niger.

    Benin, Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Côte D'Ivoire and Mali are set to introduce the airline seat surcharge.

    Unitaid, the international organisation that manages the money raised, says about 70 per cent of the one billion dollars it has made in health since 2006 has come from the air seat tax.

  • Euro Disney extends contract in France, may build third theme park

    Euro Disney SCA, the parent company of the operators of Disneyland Paris, said it will sign an agreement on Tuesday with French authorities to extend by 13 years its concession to run its existing theme parks. In addition, the agreement will give it the right to build a third theme park within 20 years, “depending on market conditions,” the company said in a press statement. Euro Disney’s current concession runs until the year 2017 and covers an area of 1,943 hectares just outside Paris. The new agreement will extend the agreement until 2030 and expands the area to 2,230 hectares. The agreement also includes the right to develop another tourist attraction, Les Villages Nature de Val d’Europe (Villages of Nature of the Valley of Europe).

  • Socatec appointed sole distributor of Tintin merchandise

    Created by comic artist Hergé in 1929, The Adventures of Tintin has been translated into over 80 languages. The worldwide popularity of his iconic world travelling comic strip character is set for even greater exposure next December with the release of Steven Spielberg’s Tintin trilogy. This exclusive range of authentic Tintin merchandise comprises a wide spectrum of products, from toys and games, collectibles, figurines, stationery, textiles, books, and postcards, to home ware, fashion textiles, watches and travel accessories. Socatec will concentrate on the most popular fast-moving products that account for a vast proportion of the worldwide sales.

  • How Do You Solve a Problem Like Roma?

    Eurocrats sometimes express bewilderment about why the European Union is so unpopular. Last week's hastily-arranged meeting in Brussels on the Roma, or gypsy, question may help to explain why: It was long on clichés like "integration" and "solidarity," and short on concrete proposals for lowering tension between Europe's Roma people and its mainstream society.

  • More suicides at France Telecom

    Five suicides of France Telecom employees in two weeks have raised concern in the partially state-owned company where 58 workers have taken their own lives since 2008. The latest deaths bring to 23 the number of suicides this year, but it was not clear if they were related to working conditions at the telecoms giant, which has 100,000 employees. The Paris public prosecutor's office opened a judicial inquiry into the suicides in April, based on a complaint filed by the Sud PTT trade union charging that France Telecom was intentionally creating a stressful work environment to push employees into quitting in order to reduce its labour force, and thereby cut costs.

  • Dispatch from Versailles: Takashi Murakami in the palace of the Sun King | Culture Monster | Los Angeles Times

    Massive frog-like creatures with many arms and pot-bellied Buddhas in polished silver and gold are haunting the Palace of Versailles. Japanese artist Takashi Murakami created the slick, brightly colored sculptures on exhibit at France’s gilded former seat of power beginning Tuesday. At first glance Murakami’s figures, which share varying degrees of a manga cartoon aesthetic, contrast sharply with the French Sun King’s 17th and 18th century chateau, which has defined classic French style for centuries. But, he says, “I think I can share fantasy-world concepts,” with King Louis XIV.