Nuit Blanche: The Seine on fire

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Reviewed on 10/1/2012 | No Reviews

Photo: © AFP, Joel Saget

Have you ever spent a nuit blanche in Paris, walking around sleepless all night long? Here’s a good reason to do it: Next weekend, starting at 22 pm on Saturday 6 of October until Sunday morning next day, takes place the 11th edition of the famous nighttime festival of the arts. Paris will be transformed into an open-air gallery with museums and galleries open all night.

Works will be displayed and performances will take place all night long. Artists from all generations and nationalities, established or emerging, will attend. Besides performances and shows on display, they will be even conferences and, you’re in France after all, “cuisine” going on.

The Louvre by night

Moreover, many cultural institutions will open their doors: the Palais de Tokyo, the Modern Art Museum of the City of Paris, the Guimet Museum, the National Superior School of Fine Art, the Grand Palais, the Petit Palais, the Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine, the Museum of Decorative Arts, the Louvre Museum, you name it.

Access to all works and events is free and, for a change, there is no reservation necessary. A free mobile application is available for iPhone and Android that offers you a complete catalogue of works and all practical informations.

Connecting the East and the West

What’s new this year? Everything I’d like to say. There are art-tracks that will help you to discover Paris: Following the path from Ivry in the East to the Maison de la Radio in the West, your way will be paved with events and surprises.

It’s Laurent Bon, the go-getting director of the new Centre Pompidou in Metz, who’s in charge with the program this year. He’s the one who had invited Murakami and Jeff Koons to the Château de Versailles. And he’s the one who had the idea of a wandering path through Paris connecting the East and the West, the richer and the poorer part of the city.

Dancing flames on the Seine

The Seine is somehow the backbone, the central theme of the night. The banks of the Seine will be closed for traffic: there will be dance (“Paris à l’infinie” by Julie Desprairies) and fireworks, sorry, I wanted to say pyrotechnical art, of course. The famous Groupe F has conceived a monumental piece, which will be travelling all night long on the Seine. You’ll be able to see the dance of the controlled flames on the river from 10pm until 6 in the morning.

Another thing: A lot of spots will be open to the public, which usually are inaccessible to the mortal ones. Ever dreamed of visiting the abutments of Pont Louis Philippe? The moment has finally come. And for the first time visitors are allowed access to fifteen unobstructed viewpoints located along the path. What about visiting the Tour Zamanskiy of Jussieu, the University situated in the 5th arrondissement, just a stone’s throw away from the Seine? I guess the view will be just amazing.

Practical Informations

Here is the website with all the details and Google-map with the major events bookmarked.
There are also tree information points distributed along the path, in order to guide visitors towards the artistic projects on the programme:
- Champs-Elysées Clémenceau
On the central reservation, at the crossroads of Avenue Winston Churchill and Avenue des Champs-Élysées Metro:  Champs-Élysées – Clemenceau, lines 1 and 13, open Saturday from 4pm until 6am
- The square of Hôtel de Ville
Metro: Hôtel de Ville lines 1, 7 and 11, open Saturday from 4pm until 6am
- Institut du Monde Arabe
On the central reservation, at the foot of the Institut du Monde Arabe
Quai Saint-Bernard, Metro: Jussieu, lines 7 and 10 or Sully-Morland, line 7, open Saturday from 4pm until 6am
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