Thursday, September 23, 2010

Paris: Landmarks, Monuments, Museums

More linguistically-interesting things I saw in Paris.

A monument to peace within view of the Eiffel Tower. I can't tell how well the word "peace" is rendered in all these languages but the Chinese (和平) is at least legible. Not the best execution but well-intentioned. (By the way, I didn't see English anywhere among these languages! Hmmm...)

Louis Braille, inventor of the raised system of dots for the blind, is entombed beneath the Panthéon. This is one of the rare monuments that actively encourages visitors to touch and interact with it: a  bust, electronically illuminated Braille inscriptions, and audio recordings.

A similar installment for the blind can be found in the Pompidou Center. Here the Braille inscription and a textured pattern allow the visitor to appreciate a work of visual art.

Inside the Louvre Museum there's a series of signs that lay down "les règles de l'art" [the rules of art], i.e. what you're forbidden to do inside (e.g. no touching artworks, no flash photography etc.). I like the humorous and non-verbal aspect of these signs:

And, finally, a trilingual notice in the Palace of Versailles:

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