PARIS/NIAMEY (Reuters) – President Francois Hollande said on Tuesday that the last French citizen held hostage, a 50-year-old man seized in 2011 by Al Qaeda’s north African arm, had now been freed.
Serge Lazarevic was held in the Sahara by AQIM for almost three years after being kidnapped in northern Mali. Hollande said Lazarevic was currently en route for Niamey, capital of neighboring Niger, from where he would head back to Paris.
PARIS (Reuters) – France’s lower house of parliament on Tuesday narrowly passed a proposal for territorial reform that would cut the number of regions by nearly half, despite renewed doubts over a promised 10 billion euros ($12.5 billion) in annual savings.
The bill, which has not yet been finalised, would see France divided into 13 regions instead of the existing 22, which the government argues would be more cost-effective and result in savings as France tries to meet its deficit reduction goals.
PARIS, November 5 (Reuters) – The “Desk of the King” took
nine years of work for the cabinetmakers of Louis XV, its rich
inlays, secret drawers and innovative design making it one of
the many masterpieces of 18th century French furniture.
Now, this and other treasures of furniture design from 1650
through 1790, corresponding to the reigns of Louis XIV through
Louis XVI, are on display at Versailles in a noteworthy show,
“The 18th Century at the Source of Design.”
PARIS (Reuters) – Eight French politicians will disguise themselves as citizens struggling with real-world problems in a TV show aimed at narrowing the gap between France’s often remote political elite and the public they are elected to serve.
But “Mr and Mrs Everyone,” due to premiere in a few weeks on the private D8 network, has provoked charges of being a gimmick debasing the decorum of public office at a time when a stagnant French economy and high unemployment has already led to pubic confidence in politicians hitting lows.
In a country whose national identity is so closely connected to its cuisine, France’s hard right has seized on a growing appetite for kebabs as proof of cultural “Islamisation”.
BLOIS, France, Oct 28 (Reuters) – In a country whose
national identity is so closely connected to its cuisine,
France’s hard right has seized on a growing appetite for kebabs
as proof of cultural “Islamisation”.
Four kebab houses opened last month in Blois, bringing the
total to over a dozen in the pretty Loire valley town where
tourists come to see the castle. The far-right National Front
party railed: “The historical centre of Blois, the jewel of
French history, is turning into an Oriental city”.
PARIS (Reuters) – Rarely have a man and his hat been so linked in the collective imagination as Napoleon and his black, two-cornered hat.
Next month, a “bicorne” felt hat thought to have belonged to the French emperor will be up for auction in Fontainebleau in what the auctioneer calls the “sale of a century” for fans of the legendary leader.
PARIS (Reuters) – Billowing sails of glass join the Eiffel Tower and the Sacre Coeur as permanent fixtures of the Paris skyline this month, when the new Fondation Louis Vuitton contemporary art museum designed by Frank Gehry opens to the public.
Thirteen years in the making, the museum is the brainchild of Bernard Arnault, the chief executive and founder of LVMH. France’s richest man envisioned a bold new piece of architecture in the capital that would tie the world’s largest luxury group with the cutting edge of art and design.
PARIS (Reuters) – Pablo Picasso once boasted: “Give me a museum and I’ll fill it.”
That wager has been frustrated in Paris for five years, however, as repeated delays, infighting and controversy have marked the renovation of one of the world’s largest collections of one of the 20th century’s most influential artists.
PARIS, Sept 30 (Reuters) – Life is fine on Boulevard Chanel,
the street facade created by designer Karl Lagerfeld for his
ready-to-wear show on Tuesday, where leggy models in expensive
outfits staged a faux demonstration as part of the spectacle.
Lagerfeld’s commentary on the French proclivity for protests
drew howls of laughter from the fashionable crowd gathered
inside the Grand Palais who were surrounded on four sides by an
immense backdrop of a chic Paris block.