Which Is More Vulgar?
To be honest, a visit to Versailles is not high on my list of things to do before I die. The sheer aching vulgarity of such vast cathedrals of wealth largely leaves me cold, although I have great admiration for the craft-skills involved in their manufacture.
Now, a descendant of King Louis XIV is seeking a court order to halt a modern exhibition by Takashi Murakami at Versailles because it sullies “supreme good French taste”. Prince Sixte-Henri de Bourbon-Parme (what a biscuity name) launched his legal action to rid the palace of the fibreglass cartoon figures and giant Buddha statues, calling for “respect of the château and of his ancestors”.
He says the exhibition is grotesque. “Versailles was conceived with the idea of displaying the essence of supreme good French taste. These works undermine the unity of style and the essence of the museum. That is why this is a provocation.”
Personally, I think they appear to complement each other wonderfully. For or against?
Related book: ‘The White Cutter’ by David Pownall – the mesmerising story of the stone masons who built French cathedrals.