Versailles: Gold & Marble Dappled by Death

January 6, 2015 1:10 PM

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Arguably this great gilded temple to the unforgiveable excess of French royalty out-glitters all its ancien regime competitors. Tapestries. Marbles. Porphyrie. Filigreed furniture. Jewels. Crystal. Parquet meant only for the softest of slippers. If you don't feel some grain of revolutionary impulse while traipsing through the place, then you must have no soul. But what to do if you're in charge of all that imperial loot, vast quantities of which seldom if ever exit darkened warehouses?

How about shipping out truckloads of the treasure to the hinterlands so sundry locals and weary tourists can get a taste without paying upwards of $80 for the whole package. That is what Versaille's chief curator, Beatrix Saule, and her team elected to do by establishing a revolving show of the pala...

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