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Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Lille Day 1 - Palais de Beaux Arts de Lille

Hello, everyone! Two weeks ago, Mike and I went to Lille, a city in northern France, We used to visit Lille at least once a year before High speed railway was opened to London from Kent some years ago. It is easy, quick and very comfortable on Eurostar to visit France. It takes only 1 hour from Ashford to Lille, and two hours to Paris.

Our Eurostar at Ashford
Main purpose was to visit Palais des Beaux Arts de Lille. Anytime we tried to visit there in past, it was somehow closed. This time, I checked on their closed days beforehand.
Yayoi Kusama

In front of Lille International station, there is a big sculpture by Yayoi Kusama. She is big. She had an exhibition at V&A recently. But her works are not in my taste.

Our breakfast cafe

This is Paul where we always have our breakfast. On this day, however, they didn't have freshly baked pastries. Such disappointment! We both like Escargot, and usually have one each with espresso, but this time we had to compromise with cold chocolate pastries! What happened to them?

We arrived Palais des Baux Arts de Lille as soon as it opened.
We took Metro to the Palais des Beaux Arts de Lille. In past we had walked, but to save time and to keep warm ( max was 13C!), we decided to take a metro. It was quick and easy. Mike found the train is not manned. There is no driver's seat.   This beautiful building houses Flanders fine arts. The buildings are much more beautiful than in this photo, but it was not only cold but also gloomy. It is miserable for June at any standard.
Elevator for underground parking
This is not the first time I took photos of this parking elevator. I like it very much, so I can't help recording it anytime I see it.
There were two temporary exhibitions. One was BABEL.  At BABEL, artists all over the world created their art works inspired by Babel. There were several pieces by Chinese artists who saw modern China as Babel. We liked a short film on this theme. Photo below was the tower of Babel made by library books. 

The tower of Babel? The pile of books?
Among them I liked this painting most. The way black and white were used with other colours are inspirational. It was by Hungarian artist called Miklos Bokor.

The other exhibition was LES SEPT PÉCHÉS CAPITAUX by Antoine Roegiers. It was located at the back end of dark room, which displays a dozen of models of towns. He re-worked Brueghel the elder's 'The seven deadly sins'. There were animation for each sin. I always loved Brueghel, as you could imagine from what I make. So his works were fascinating to me. We had spent about one hour to watch each drawing and animation. I could have stayed longer if we didn't get hungry. Here is his website.

We had a lunch at an Italian restaurant we saw from a window of ceramics room. After that, we returned to see their permanent collection.  There are lots of painting upstairs too. I enjoyed the space and collection. 

My favourite sculpture

I always wanted to know where faun's tail grow.
At the back side of the building, there was a courtyard and a modern glass building, which I think is a local government office. The reflection is lovely even on the cloudy day.
Unexpectedly stunning view of reflection

Once we finished looking all displays, it was already mid-afternoon. It's time to start winding down. Just outside, I found a beagle puppy being walked by a young lady. He was bouncy and very playful.

Beagle puppy, full of energy
After we did our shopping: wines, pastries, cheese and deserts. We headed to the station. It was getting slightly brighter and even warmer after four o'clock.
A building over the station

It was a nice day trip, we thought. We didn't know that I was not allowed to return to UK at a border control after that. Continued.

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