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France Travel News 11/30/2010

  • Arman Show in Paris Puts Spotlight on Everyday Objects

    If you spot collections of shoes, saws, dentures, broken-down bikes and a life-size car hanging on the walls of the Pompidou Center in Paris, don’t be surprised. It’s all part of a retrospective of the artist known as Arman, who had a lifelong preoccupation with objects.

  • Search for Air France 447 to resume

    French air accident investigators announced yesterday that search teams will return to a remote region of the Atlantic to resume the search for Air France Flight 447 in early 2011. Officials from the airline and the investigative agency recently met with families of the passengers on board that flight, who urged them to continue the search for the missing plane. Those families have lingering questions about what happened to their loved ones and why the plane went down under mysterious circumstances.

  • Miss Ile de France, when third place finishes first

    Not a lot seems to be going right for the organisers of this year's Miss France. At least not as far as determining who's going to represent the region of Ile de France in the beauty pageant this weekend. After the resignation of the region's first-placed Miss and the disqualification of her runner-up, the area surrounding the French capital will now be represented by its third choice beauty.

  • Huge Chocolate Christmas Tree Created in France

    Christmas: traditionally a time for festive decorations, and festive gluttony. Both have been combined by Patrick Roger, a French chocolatier, who has created a ten-meter (32-foot) Christmas tree… made out of chocolate. The tree took a month to create and weighs four tons.

  • France condemns WikiLeaks publication

    France Monday became the latest country to criticise the release of secret US diplomatic cables on the WikiLeaks site, calling it an ‘an attack on state sovereignty’. Government spokesman Francois Baroin said, however, that US-French relations would not be affected by the disclosures. In one document released by the site, President Nicolas Sarkozy is described as ‘thin-skinned’ and authoritarian. In another, the Rafale combat aircraft sold by France to Bahrain is called ‘yesterday’s technology’.

  • France Debuts a Fast Food Foie Gras Burger

    A decided rival to the golden arches, according to Daily Mail UK, Quick will serve a limited-edition "Supreme Foie Gras Burger" for a mere 5 euors — that's under $8. Try finding that at a drive-though near you. We on this side of the Atlantic have to reserve a spot with a tablecloth to get this kind of decadence.

  • Handbags at dawn as France’s most famous fashion houses wage war

    The elitist world of Paris high luxury, where a customised handbag can cost more than a car, seems to be immune to the financial crisis. The French label Hermès made so much money this year that it is likely to post the best results of its 173-year history and has just opened a lavish new store in the old Art Deco swimming pool of a left bank hotel. But behind the success of silk-scarves and crocodile-skin clutches, Paris fashion is being torn apart by a saga of secretive empire-building and power-struggles dubbed the "handbag wars".

  • Google Signs France Artists Deal to Cool Tensions From Copyright Battles

    Google Inc.’s YouTube unit will pay three French artistic collection agencies for the use of their members’ works, continuing an effort to cool tensions with creative groups and regulators in France.

  • Taxes in France: Unsqueezing the rich

    WHEN Johnny Hallyday, France’s 67-year-old answer to Elvis Presley, joined other jet-set tax exiles in Switzerland a few years ago, he vowed to return if France ever abolished the wealth tax. Might his promise soon be put to the test? No French politician has dared touch the tax since Jacques Chirac in 1986, who got rid of it as prime minister and went on to lose the presidential election two years later (the tax was reinstated in 1989). Now President Nicolas Sarkozy is thinking of doing away with it next year.

  • Picasso’s electrician reveals artist’s ‘treasure trove’

    A retired electrician in southern France who worked for Pablo Picasso says he has hundreds of previously unknown works by the artist. The treasure trove of 271 pieces includes lithographs, cubist paintings, notebooks and a watercolour and is said to be worth about 60m euros (£50.6m).

  • French gastronomy added to Unesco’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list

    When something has the Unesco pin attached to its lapel, you know it’s worth seeing. You go to Paris, you see Notre Dame – rightfully awarded because it’s amazing to look at and historically inspiring. Plus the Unesco tag gives you that rest-easy warm glow of knowing that magnificent buildings aren’t going to get churned into a swathe of charmless apartments any time soon. But next time you go to France, don’t be surprised if you find a little Unesco flag on a toothpick staked into your coq au vin, because French gastronomy has now been officially added to Unesco’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list.

  • Woman Found Alive Locked In Bathroom After 20 Days

    Some people think that it is safe to lock the bathroom once you are inside but it turns out that for a 69 year old Paris woman things went the other way around.

  • I think, therefore I am four . . . France starts them young

    France is to start teaching philosophy to younger pupils, in some cases as young as four, provoking a row over whether the discipline is being dumbed down. The country has long idealised its philosophers, who, from Descartes to Derrida, have heavily influence Western thought for centuries. Its modern media philosophers have superstar status, from the open-shirted Bernard-Henri Levy to Raphael Enthoven, the TV philosopher and ex-boyfriend of Carla Bruni-Sarkozy and father of her son.