What Parisians Are Talking About This Week, June 11, 2014

June 11, 2014By Heidi EllisonTales of la Ville

Anti-Semitism, Love Locks,
Museum Scandal, Clinton

Paris Update Locks On Locks

Love locks. Photo by David Jaggard.

Bald anti-Semitism The latest anti-Semitic remark by Jean-Marie Le Pen, honorary president of the far-right-wing National Front party, has led to a public spat between him and his daughter, current party leader Marine Le Pen, and her companion Louis Aliot, vice-president of the party. Marine Le Pen and Aliot, who are trying to soften the party’s image, objected to a remark made by the elder Le Pen, who, while spewing insults at his critics, saved a special one for singer Patrick Bruel, who is Jewish: “On fera une fournée la prochaine fois,” he said, which essentially means, “Next time, we’ll set up an oven for him.” As the French press has pointed out, his comment served to remind the public of the “fascist, racist, extreme-right origins of the party.” Le Pen’s comment after his video blog was removed from the party’s site: “My daughter has stabbed me in the back.”

The weight of love Part of the railing on the Pont des Arts fell into the Seine this weekend under the burden of the thousands of “love locks” attached to it. No one was hurt, but imagine if a tourist-packed Bateau Mouche had been passing under the bridge at that moment. (To join the anti-love-locks movement, click here.)

The Picasso Museum scandal The uproar over Minister of Culture Aurélie Filippetti’s botched handling of the reopening of the much-loved museum in the Marais refuses to die down. Dismissed Director Anne Baldassari, who had run the museum for 10 years and shepherded it through a five-year renovation, is threatening to sue, and the museum’s reopening in September is in doubt. Meanwhile, Laurent Le Bon, director of the Centre Pompidou-Metz, has been named the Picasso Museum’s new director.

Gossipy Sarko Hillary Clinton’s take on Nicolas Sarkozy in her new memoir, Hard Choices: “He would gossip, casually describing other world leaders as crazy or infirm; one was a ‘drug-addled maniac’; another had a military ‘that didn’t know how to fight’; yet another came from a long line of ‘brutes.’ Sarkozy was forever asking why all the diplomats who came to see him were so unforgivably old, gray, and male.”

Heidi Ellison

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