Wednesday afternoon, highschool students and teachers on their free afternoon, and a rainy miserable day, that meant lots of people had taken refuge at the Grand Palais. Three different lines, one for the rabble 😉 who waited for a looooong time in the rain, one for people who have a permanent pass (like me), and one for people who had made a reservation. Now, no matter how long you’d been queueing, when you arrived inside, you landed in a disaster area. The cloakroom had a notice that said: complet! It meant that if you wanted to leave your wet coat there, you had to stand in line a second time, waiting for people to retrieve their coat and go out. That took me ten minutes. Then, I wanted an audioguide (4€), which I regretted renting afterwards as it wasn’t very informative. They were out too, so another ten minutes’ wait.
Finally, I got in! The rooms were extraordinarily crowded, so much so that it made it difficult to look at the pieces on display or to see their titles. What’s more, the lighting was incredibly bad. For some paintings, you had to stand at a certain angle to be able to see it without reflections.
Every time I go to one of these exhibitions in Paris, I get angry. I think they make my country look like a total mess. I have been to similar exhibitions in London, Brussels, Madrid or Venice, and there, the lighting is good, the cloakrooms are spacey and you can admire the works of art at leisure. What makes it impossible for the “génie français” to do the same?