"Petit my a**!" An Afternoon at the Petit Palais
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Heather Stimmler-Hall in Sightseeing

Since the weather has been too cold and wet (!!) to go to Paris Plage, last week my friend Karen and I decided to spend the afternoon at the Petit Palais, which houses the newly renovated Municipal Fine Arts Museum.

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"Petit my a**!" says Karen, posing in front of the golden entrance doors. (See the façade of the Grand Palais across the street in the glass reflection.)

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I was having a low blood-sugar moment, so we headed straight for the museum café (to the left as you enter the museum, then go through the glass door to the gardens). The inside is actually quite stylish for a museum café. There's a second-floor mezzanine and windows overlooking the gardens and the inside of the museum.

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We decided to sit on the mosaic-tiled terrace.

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This is the view of the museum gardens from the terrace.

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This is the vaulted ceiling under the terrace porch.

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The garden still looks pretty young (the Petit Palais only recently reopened). Considering the fact that the entrance is free to the museum (the permanent collections of all municipal museums are free), this café is a great spot to come and have a snack or a drink, even if you're not going to visit the museum.
 
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This is the main lobby. As you can see, the building itself is gorgeous, constructed in Belle Époque style for the 1900 World's Fair.
 
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Here is one of the original carved staircases, with elegant wrought-iron railings.
 
 
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The museum has decorative objects, such as this screen and furnishings by Hector Guimard.

 

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There are also beautiful sculptures, like this naughty Bacchante couchée by Clesinger.

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Paintings by Boilly, Corot, Delacroix, Monet, Sisley, and La Parisienne by Charles-Alexandre Giron.

Click here for information to visit the Petit Palais-Musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris

Article originally appeared on The only authentic insider guide to Paris. (http://www.secretsofparis.com/).
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