Photographer's Note

Last week, I visited the Grand Palais in Paris reopened for a few days to the public.
I didn't know if it was dream or reality ...

One of the architectural jewels of late 19th century Paris — the enormous steel and glass exhibition hall known as the Grand Palais — had re-opened to the public and is now closed again for renovation.
It was closed for safety reasons in 1993 after a metal bolt fell from the ceiling.
Visitors over the fortnight got a rare view of two massive 17th century globes which were commissioned by the Sun King Louis XIV and have been put on public display only once in the last century.
The so-called Coronelli globes measure nearly five meters in diameter and weigh two tons each. Built of wood and plaster in the 1680s, they depict the known earth and the stars and at the time of construction were the biggest in the world.
Over four years workers have injected 10,000 tons of cement into the foundations, changed 15,000 rivets, replaced 16,000 square metres of glass and used 60 tons of paint — returning the building's interior to its original pale green.
Further renovation of the exterior and sculptures will take place over the next two years, and the inside will be entirely redesigned and equipped from 2008-2010.

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Additional Photos by Sylvie Fondacci Monteiro (SylFondacci) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 523 W: 28 N: 462] (4087)
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