Saturday, September 20, 2008

Paris 7e arrondissement

The Chamber of Deputies, in french Assemblée Nationale, is across place Concorde, in the 7th arrondissement of Paris. I went to visit it last year's "Journée de Patrimoine" similar to the Open Days of this weekend, here.

All, or most, official buildings are open to public that day, one day of the year, and free to visit. Some have lots of visitors and the entry is monitored and searched, but even the president's place and office can be seen that day. Once a year.

The windows, closed, were taken from the Assemblée Square, in the month of August when most of Parisians are off somewhere. It was a very quiet stroll, and it was then that I decided to try and come back a month later.

As I was one of the first in place, too early, as usual, I was also between the first group to be admitted and greeted by the President of the Assembly himself. He did stay with us a bit and gave a short speech and made photos with some of the visitors (for the press probably more then for them.)

My strongest memory from last years visit are three. At the begining, as we waited in the garden for the doors to open, two young girls, less then ten years old, both with cameras, posed their younger brother near decorative vases and took photos of whatever they seen. Beginning early!
Visite Assemblée Nationale-068

Visite Assemblée Nationale-089dvInside, the space where the speeches are made and the laws voted, two women in "monokini" showing their breast "Greek style" while writing the law, of course of stone. Or was it painting? Looked as in relief to me.

I am not against women showing more or less of their breasts, but at that place, immortalizing them, did not seem to me of good taste.

The third souvenir were the humorous portraits, sculptures of heads of some of the big old speakers of the House realized with great talent.

I went home, exhausted, but richer with dozens of photos and some strong souvenirs.

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