|Le Louvre in Lens|
Red Baron is a dedicated federalist. The Federal Republic of Germany developed naturally out of historically grown structures. Since the Middle Ages the Holy Roman Empire was a loose alliance of dukedoms, bishoprics, and free imperial cities under a German king holding the title of Roman Emperor. Following the Napoleon wars the German Confederation, the Second Reich, and the Weimar Republic kept Germany's Federal structure that only the Nazis destroyed during their twelve year rule. Now we are happily back to our federal structures.
Being aware of the deficiencies of a centralized system the French government tried to give more autonomy to regions like Rhone-Alpes or Alsace over the last 40 years. However, this is an artificial and slow process not being on the mind of the rooted Frenchmen and -women. Nevertheless various central governments made an effort, e.g., in creating branches of Paris museums in the provinces. There exists a Centre Pompidou in Metz and the Louvre in Lens.
The branch of the Louvre was built in the north of France - an area severely hit by the decline of industry (coal, steel, textile) - in particular to attract visitors to the region. The modern exhibition hall of the museum is vast and impressing by the ample space between the objects exposed. When you walk up the hall the historic time scale starts with Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt and takes you to la Belle Époque. What impressed me was the quality of the selected exhibits but even more so the presence of many school classes with their teachers meaning that those empty spaces between the objects are really needed.
|Gudea, prince of Lagash, Mesopotamia, 2120 BC. |
Note the children in the back looking at a sheet of paper.
|Praetorian Guard, i.e.,|
bodyguards to the emperor as decoration on a triumphal arc around the year 50.
|My friend Denis Diderot by the famous Jean-Antoine Houdon, 1775|
|My German-learning pupils with their teacher. |
Au revoir et à bientôt!
Tschüss is a cacography of the French word Adieu that dates back from the times of the Napoleonic rule of the city of Hamburg. The Hamburgers had become French citizens of a newly created Département de Bouches d'Elbe and had difficulties with the French pronunciation speaking their lower German dialect. During recent years Tschüss for Auf Wiedersehen made it from Northern Germany to Bavaria. This is how languages develop with time.
On the photo the pupils look all content including their teacher they call maîtresse in France.