FRANCE may have lurched to the left with
Francois Hollande’s historic trouncing of
Nicolas Sarkozy, making him the first socialist President since Jacques Chirac
replaced Francois Mitterand in 1995, but you can bet there will not be much
evidence of that at the XXVI Biennale des Antiquaires at the Grand Palais in
Paris from September 14 to 23.
One of the top international fairs, the
Biennale is as much a glittering social occasion as it is a marketplace for
many of the world’s top dealers.
And adding to the glitter this year is the
uber-talented, Paris-based German designer Karl Lagerfeld who will choreograph
the whole event with responsibility for its staging, decoration and design.
Apparently he agreed to become official
scenographer as part of a friendly gentleman’s wager with Christian Deydier,
the leading Paris dealer in ancient Chinese bronzes who is President of the
Syndicat National des Antiquaires who host the fair.
M. Deydier is certainly well connected and is a
good friend of Jacques Chirac who was a frequent visitor to the Biennale. And
do not be surprised if President Hollande makes an appearance. He is more
interested in the arts than his predecessor and has close friends in the art
world, among them Pierre Bergé.
and grander than ever the Biennale has signed up 150 exhibitors this year
compared to 86 in 2010.