Archive for the ‘News’ Category

It’s 9 months since the November morning when fire ripped through Aix’s most famous cafe, Les Deux Garcons.  At last I have some news to report… (more…)

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Jeff Koons for Marseille’s MuCEM

Koons with one of his balloon dogs

Next year’s MuCEM blockbuster will be a show devised by and dedicated to US artist Jeff Koons.  His sculptures depict everyday objects, including stainless-steel balloon animals which sell for stratospheric prices: ‘Rabbit’ sold for $91.1m.  Curators at the Marseille museum have invited Kooms to ‘dialogue’ with their collection of thousands of items. He will choose 200 of them to exhibit and produce 20 works inspired by them.  The artist has already been to Marseille twice to plan the show. (more…)

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Over the last year, I’ve dropped in to classes in centre ville, run by Karina Vitiello.  She’s an enthusiastic teacher who also has fluent English which helps for explanations. So I was dismayed to see what happened to her flat. (more…)

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The opening date was set for 2021, but after four years of negotiations, the Aix authorities have decided not to proceed with the deal to establish a major museum in the old Prêcheurs convent. (more…)

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Each year, there’s an opportunity in Aix to push open the doors of some of the most elegant and private-looking townhouses to visit their gardens.  The special weekend is usually in June, but this year, the Flaneries d’art takes place at the end of this week. (more…)

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Firstly the wonderful museum of Classical Art has re-opened: set in an ancient building in the heart of this beautiful village, they have combined classical artifacts (Greek, Roman, Egyptian) with sculptures and paintings inspired by them.  Superb.

Aixcentric post: https://aixcentric.com/2016/11/12/an-unmissable-new-museum-in-mougins/

Details: https://www.mouginsmusee.com/en

Then you could walk over to enjoy lunch at l’Amandier where chef Sebastien Zunino offers a midi formule or special Menu Musée, all with quite a view. Details: https://www.amandier.fr/home/home/accueil-ouverture-de-lecole-de-cuisine.html

And finish off with a wander round the curving village streets, lined with little galleries and Instagramable doorways, to admire the plein-air animal sculptures which are the stars of this summer’s Mougins Monumental exhibition.

Parking by the way is well-organised at the foot of this village perché.  You are whisked up to the main square and belvedere by glass-sided lift.  Mougins is just over 1.5hr drive from Aix, but so worth it.

A memorable day out!


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New to Aix?  Visitors to entertain? Here’s some info on Richard Seaward who is hosting guided tours, full of insight and humour, around centre ville.

He says, ‘I have lived and worked in the UK, USA, Asia and we are now settled in Aix.  On a year-long trip around the world, we took a lot of walking tours, the best way to get to know a city. We enjoyed small groups where the guide knew the history, but also the stories, the characters not just the dates, we are not at school! On my tours, you will walk through the history of Aix, noble and not so noble, as well as chat about what it’s like to move to France and live in modern Aix’.

Tours leave from the Rotonde

Walks leave Mon-Sat, morning and afternoon from the Rotonde (outside Apple). The maximum number is 8, and the charge is 30€ for the over 13s.  More here: https://aixwalkingtours.com/

For a socially-distanced alternative, you could opt for Richard’s tour on your smartphone. (more…)

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Long-time Aixcentric followers will have read about the development of the old SNCF railway sheds and shunting yards into LUMA Arles, a stylish arts centre, funded by Swiss industrialist and art-lover Maja Hoffman.

Hopefully the photo below will give you an idea of the scale of the ‘Parc des Ateliers’ site:  the large building with the blue-grey roof was a factory for making engines, and has been open for a couple of years for exhibitions.  Then there are various industrial buildings which were being converted when we visited, and past them (to the left of the photo), the new tower designed by US Architect Frank Gehry.   The whole 20-acre site will be a centre for studios, workshops, research, exhibitions, and link into the annual ‘Les Rencontres d’Arles’ photography show which takes over every square inch of space in the old town each summer (apart from this one of course).

Two bits of good news: it all opens from 27th June (daily 11-19hrs), and guided tours of the buildings will be available in English.

Here’s the website for more infohttps://www.luma-arles.org/luma/home.html ….plus details on their new exhibitions.  Expect to be challenged!

Photo below for a closer look at the new 56m tower: it is clad with 11,000 aluminium panels and the cylindrical base is apparently a reference to the town’s Roman amphitheatre.  The tour of the buildings should be fascinating!

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On Sunday 5th July, the historical vineyard, le Château Saint Estève de Néri, situated just outside the Luberon village of Ansouis, will be ‘en fête !’

You are invited to go along and taste their Bio wines and enjoy a buffet provençal….crudités, fromage de chèvre and so on to complement the range of wines.  Discounts on purchases on the day.

Alexandra Wilson and her French team will welcome guests from 10:30-16:00hrs, with they say, ‘immense plaisir’.

A trip out to the vineyard and a walk round the village afterwards is a perfect antidote to lockdown!

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Eurostar announced late yesterday that services to Marseille, as well as Avignon and Lyon, due to start last month, won’t now run at all during 2020 or 2021. (more…)

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