Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Paris At The Turn of The Most Recent Century

It's hard to remember the global anticipation, excitement and fear surrounding the turn of the century from 1999 to 2000, or Y2K as it was always called. Nowhere was this more apparent than Paris. There was a countdown calendar mounted on the side of the Eiffel Tower that started three years before the change. I traveled often to Paris during this time and always, even if I was in Paris for just a day or two, made a point of visiting the Eiffel Tower. It was exciting to see how the countdown clock had changed since my previous visit.

During 1999, there was another event marking the change in the form of a giant sculpture garden on the sidewalks along the Champs-Elysees. I was lucky enough to be there during this time.

Below is a description from the Paris Voice, with a postcard of one of the most famous sculptures to the left.

Even in the pouring rain people stop to look at the sculpture along the Champs-Elysées where more than 50 works by contemporary artists from around the world transform the famous avenue into a giant sculpture garden. This much talked about outdoor exhibition is being billed as a sequel to the modern sculpture show that drew record crowds in 1996. John Kelly’s “Cow in a Tree” has caused several traffic jams. The seemingly outlandish work is explained in simple terms by the artists who says “when it floods in Australia you often see a cow caught up a tree.” Another eye-catching work is “The Hotdog Vendor” by American artist Rod Grooms, who celebrates everyday heroes of modern life. The outdoor exhibit will be on view through Nov15. (

1 comment:

  1. I was there, lost my voice screaming 'bon annee', and was completely captivated by the fireworks set off from the Eifle Tower! Yolanda