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‘Sleepless’ in Paris as city celebrates all-night art party

Text by FRANCE 24 (with wires)

Latest update : 2009-10-04

Paris celebrated its eighth annual “Nuit Blanche” festival of contemporary art overnight on Saturday until the early hours of Sunday with riotous displays of cutting-edge art installations across the French capital.

The French capital stayed up until the wee hours of Sunday as Parisians marked “Nuit Blanche” – literally “sleepless night” – an annual nocturnal celebration of contemporary art.

The eighth annual Nuit Blanche festival was expected to attract about 1.5 million people, according to Christophe Girard, deputy mayor of Paris.

“If the current trend continues, we should have slightly more people this year than the previous year,” Girard told the AFP news service shortly before midnight.

While public viewings of art installations across the city began Saturday around 7pm, most visitors on this special night opt to view the installations toward midnight.

Giant green laser beam

Shortly after sundown on Saturday, queues of visitors were snaking at the entrance of the Luxembourg gardens in the historic Latin Quarter as well as the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont in eastern Paris.

The Latin Quarter and the central Chatelet-Marais areas have traditionally showcased contemporary art installations on this special night. This year’s Nuit Blanche also featured a number of showings in the north-eastern 19th arondissement, which houses a number of contemporary art studios.

The highlight of the eighth annual Nuit Blanche was a giant green laser beam launched by composer Jean Michel Jarre from the 14th arondissement in southern Paris, which was visible for around 5.5 kilometres right up to the heights of the Montmartre area in northern Paris.

Every year, the all-night art party winds down at around 7am on Sunday.

Date created : 2009-10-04