Escape the negative headlines and enjoy some of the positive news stories that have emerged from France so far this year, 2021.
BEAUTY IN THE EAST
The Gare de Metz-Ville is the main railway station serving the city of Metz has been crowned the most beautiful in France in its third victory in a nationwide competition.
The Moselle prefecture fought off tough competition from Saint-Brieuc station in the final round of the SNCF-organised competition, winning 76,841 votes compared to 76,606 for the Breton station. The striking edifice was built in a Germanic style between 1905 and 1908, when Metz was annexed into the German Empire, and its clocktower was designed by Kaiser Wilhelm II.
NEW HOME FOR NELLY
Europe’s first elephant sanctuary is open and ready to welcome its first residents. Elephant Haven, in the Parc Naturel Regional Perigord Nord in Haute-Vienne, promises a peaceful retirement for zoo and circus elephants in Europe. Visitors will be welcome in the future to observe the elephants from a distance as they explore their 28-hectare home in bucolic Limousin.
Find out more about the charity’s work at elephanthaven.com
Both the Champs-Elysees and the Eiffel Tower are set to undergo makeovers – the former by 2030, the latter in time for the 2024 Olympic Games. The Champs-Elysees’ transformation will be radical, turning it into a pedestrian-friendly street lined with trees at a cost of €250 million. The Eiffel Tower, meanwhile, is being painted a new shade of golden brown in the biggest change in its 130-year history. It is set to be completed in 2022, €50 million later.
Some 16th-century Milanese armor that was stolen from the Louvre in the 1980s has been returned to the museum after almost 40 years. An antiques expert called to value the Renaissance-era armour in a Bordeaux home alerted the police and prosecutors are now investigating how the artefacts arrived in their possession.
The returned armour will go on display in the Objets d’Art section of the Richelieu wing of the museum when it reopens.
After a disrupted 2020, the famous Festival Interceltique de Lorient hopes it will finally be able to toast its 50th year of celebrating all things Celtic with a bumper event. The festival normally welcomes around 700,000 visitors from around the world. If you want to join in the fun, this year’s event will be held from 6 to 15 August (festival-interceltique.bzh).