Letter from Paris: May 8, 2024 News Digest

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Letter from Paris: May 8, 2024 News Digest

Imagine spending the night in the famous clock room of the Musée d’Orsay. You know, the spot outside the Impressionist collection where everyone takes selfies? With the view toward the Sacré-Cœur Basilica? That alone would be unforgettable.. But this particular experience — offered as an exclusive competition by Airbnb — also includes private access to the Impressionist collection with a guided tour, and the opportunity to watch the Olympics Opening Ceremony from the rooftop terrace with dinner overlooking the Seine. (Airbnb is an official worldwide sponsor of the Games.) Take your chances when booking opens on May 21. To quote Olympics.com: The clock room “has been transformed into a luxurious bedroom by Mathieu Lehanneur, designer of the Paris 2024 torch and cauldron… [It] will feature a unique “floating” bed, designed by Lehanneur, as well as a replica of the Paris 2024 torch.”

Musée d’Orsay – Icons – Airbnb. Credit: Frederik Vercruysse

The Olympic Flame has arrived in Marseille aboard the tallship Belem after a 10-day sea crossing from Greece. France’s first torchbearer is Florent Manaudou, the Olympic champion swimmer, who succeeds his sister Laure, the first torchbearer 10 days ago in Olympia. Marseille has been prepping in style. The Mediterranean city staged a spectacular sound and light show with 800 drones. Now the Olympic Torch Relay will make its away across France.

The Eiffel Tower was struck by lightning last week during a May 1 thunderstorm, and the images are pretty spectacular. Check out this video by Agence France Presse:

An incredible art restoration project has fixed up one of the Louvre’s most iconic paintings. As reported by The Guardian, “For almost 200 years, she has been the definitive symbol of the French republic. Now, after a much-needed facelift, Eugène Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People will rise above the fray of revolutionary anarchy in her true colors once more… Eight layers of varnish were applied to Liberty Leading the People over the years in a bid to brighten its colours, but instead ended up drowning them under a coating of drab yellow as the varnish oxidised on the surface.” Read the full article here.

Liberty Leading the People, Eugène Delacroix, 1830

Paris is on a tree planting spree, with a number of designated “urban forests,” including the newly planted oasis on the place de Catalogne in the 14th arrondissement. Another interesting green space in the works is a previously abandoned industrial site next to the Petite Ceinture. Called the “Bois de Charonne,” this area of the 20th arrondissement encompasses 3.5 hectares. The trees were planted at the end of 2023. Check out the video below.

Calling all “Emily in Paris” fans. The hit Netflix show, created by Darren Star, will be back for season 4 this summer. And it’ll be split into two parts, premiering August 15 and September 12. As reported by Variety, “While the production has typically stayed in Paris and elsewhere in France, a portion of Season 4 is currently being shot in Rome.”

Lead photo credit : Sleep at the Musée d'Orsay courtesy of Airbnb Icons. Credit: Frederik Vercruysse

More in Airbnb, Delacroix, Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Musée d’Orsay, Paris Olympics, urban forests

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BP's expert editorial team includes some of the city's top English-language journalists.