28 February, 2011

Angers becomes anglicized

"English is now part of the Anjou cultural landscape", wrote in its edition of february 24th the weekly tabloïd La Tribune d'Angers, in an article about the interest inhabitants have to practise foreign languages. Two of them are becoming "incontrovertible" Chinese and English. "The Angevins don't anymore stand back from English like a few years before. They tend to make the Obama's sentence "Yes we can" theirs", precise to La Tribune d'Angers, Phoebe Marshall-Raimbeau, manager of the English Library in Angers with 1 600 members, a figure which doubled in 15 years.

This interest comes mainly from students. In the field of humanities, the courses of Applied Foreign Langagues studies attract most of the holders of French baccalaureate and they constitute on third of the members of the English Library in Angers, before adults who wish to resume English or English speaking people who have setteld in Western France and have been attracted by the collection of the authority. But about 120 children have been registered at the English Library and classes of English have been multipicated in the villages around Angers.

According to the tabloïd, numerous private companies teach English in Angers (The Wall Street Institute, Ecolangues, L'Autre Ecole, Access Langues, Langues Passion, The English Center of Angers) or public like the Angers Municipal Institute, and more recently, Saint-Edward University or the tea shop My Favourite Place.

27 February, 2011

Charity begins at home. Only at home...

News analysis.- Angers medias promote sometimes - probably unconciously - individual behaviour absolutely opposed to a value they usually put in the front pages all day long and under countless manners : solidarity. Nowadays, in the local news, everything makes reference to solidarity : gardens, workshops, shops, restaurants, exhibitions, tourism and so... Nevertheless, Le Courrier de l'Ouest dedicated last saturday the main title of its front page ("Their week of skiing is incontrovertible") to the holidays of a couple who, every year, go to skiing. Good!

The problem is : they have three children they let at home... for budgetary reasons! And the mother points out : "Now, we must go during school holidays and that's not possible". What a pity. If the expenses for two persons sum 1 000 € a week, they will range 3 000 € for five.

Hopefully, the parents describe their holidays and their beneficial effects better than a travel agency would do so : "That week in the middle of winter is irreplaceable. It is so good that stay in altitude, we do sport, we breathe fresh air. We take profit of it during several weeks later". Kids will appreciate. Hopefully, the parents used their train family rate. "So-li-da-ri-ty", no word of a lie!

26 February, 2011

The Sco, field of coming municipal fights

The next session of Angers municipal council on the evening of february 28th will be "sporty". Majority and minority will fight about the attitude of tow hall departments regarding the financing of the soccer club Angers Sco. In may 2010, town hall granted 1,2 million € which part of it is a 500 000 € loan. At that time, majority and minority voted in favor of the help but splitted about the measures to implement in order to control the club. And one of the members of the minority even demanded "A close monitoring for [2011]".

Laurent Gérault, head of minority critics Michel Houdbine, deputy-mayor in charge of sports, for not have exerted the prerogatives provided to town hall by the agreement between the city and the club, disclosed by medias : the presentation of the financial reports written by the chartered accountants and the realization of an audit of the club accounts.

The answer of the majority looks clumsy. Michel Houdbine replied that Angers "was the only local authority to have constituted a monitoring committee" what the Conseil général didn't do. But for what results? The critics from the majority to the opposition doesn' elude its own shortcomings.

25 February, 2011

The Maison pour tous of Monplaisir could host, against its will, the humourist Dieudonné

Credit : Maison pour tous de Monplaisir
The Maison pour tous of the Monplaisir district is angry. If the court of Angers doesn't cancel its contract with Phone Mobile, a Nantes company which booked its auditorium on april 20th, the Mpt, which plans educative and cultural programs for a wide public, will host Dieudonné, a humorist accused of anti-semitic comments.

The case starts when the Maison pour tous receives an offer from Phone Mobile to rent the auditorium for a one man show in order to reward its customers. The Mpt signs a contract where only the title of the show had to be precised, and not the name of the artist. The title of the show is "Mahmoud". Moreover, the show Mpt thought it was private and free was in fact paying and public! "We have been deceived", claims the board of the Mpt.

Credit : Wikipedia
Above the juridical case, principles are at stake, on one side and another. For the Mpt, the arrival of a person sentenced for anti-semitic purposes is at the opposite of its mission. But on the side of Dieudonné, and if the contract is legal, the Mpt can be criticized ot a restriction to the freedom of expression. About the title of the show "Mahmoud", it is an allusion to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the iranian president Dieudonné met. And that Mahmoud is a reference in anti-semistism.

24 February, 2011

With the Angers "VéloCité +" consistency steps back

Under the title "The bike is winning ground in town", Angers Loire métropole (Alm) introduced in its monthly magazine a new rental service of hire bikes "VéloCité+". If that new opportunity looks like the "Vélib" system implemented in Paris, it is in fact very different. In Angers, a tourist, or any person coming in town for professional reason, has to pay the rent.

Although the system is logical, it is nevertheless in complete illogical with "VeloCité", the usual system implemented in Angers. Unlike "VéloCité+", "VéloCité" allows all person living in Angers (even if she doesn'pay taxes there) to get a bike for a year and... for free. So, while a visitor coming in town for business or leisure purpose - and fueling money in Angers - is charged for hiring bike, residents, whatever taxpayer or not, inhabitants or simply temporary resident have at their disposal bike up to one year without beeing charged! The system works upside down!

Moreover, if the title af the article gives to undestand that more and more person are using bikes in town, Alm precise in the text that "7% only of students of Saint-Serge campus, in Angers, use bikes for their daily trips"... If "Bike is winning ground in town", good sense steps back!

23 February, 2011

Angers pays tribute to the English illustrator Quentin Blake

"Visits surprinsingly odd and fond of food" in the universe of the English drawer, Quentin Blake, took place last february 19th at the municipal library, Toussaint street, of Angers. That event forms a part of a serie of tributes paid to this "internationally recognised British author and illustrator" by Angers city and untitled "Quentin Blake and the ages of life". In addition to the Saint-Nicolas and Toussaint municipal libraries, the English Language Library in Angers, the town departments, the 400 Coups cinema and the Luciole library joined forces to allow inhabitants to dive in Blake's universe.

Quentin Blake, whose works decorate the new hall of the maternity hospital, wrote and illustrated more than 200 books and among them, those of Roald Dahl's children's titles ("Fantastic Mr Fox" and the famous "Charlie and the chocolate factory").

Interviewed about the interest of Angers to his work, regarding the exhibition of his paintings in the hospital, Quentin Blake said "it was a surprise for me, I never did it before. That is something new and intense". About the present program of exhibits, "it makes me feel that I am revisiting my life. It's quite fascinating to see books have their own life".

22 February, 2011

The requests of social housing decrease in Angers

Credit  : www.lepuzzle.angers.fr
 According to corroborating informations, the demand of social housing would be in sharp decline in Angers and surroundings. The city experimented a strong demand during the second half of the past decade due to the programms of urban renovation which led to destructions of buildings and rehousing of families in others. But the situation is not quite the same in 2011. The growth of rented accommodations in town, due to fiscal advantages, compete with the offer of social institutions which faces a change in the "market".

Many of the requests of social housing are not older than a month while a law, dedicated to prevent too long waiting list, is unforceable... because there are no complains. And in many social institutions around the city, there is often no more than a request for a single flat. So it could be time for the city to slow down constructions of social housing instead of keeping the same pace.

Credit : Wikipedia
If that is not bad for the building and civil engineering economy (where there is no delocalisation and which gives work), the real estate agencies, the individuals investors as well as social housing institutions could experiment some difficulties to rent their properties. It would be most useful to change the rules of the social renting by compelling the future tenants not to stay longer than a number of years (5?) in the same flat. If many low-income houseolds wish to live in an individual house, some of the tenants of those houses lives there for years. Is that fair?

21 February, 2011

The "Participation Day" of Angers in new theatre leads to a theatrical result

Angers city
The "Participation Day", which took place on february 18th and19th in the Le Quai theatre of Angers seems to have turned to a politician debate : the right of vote for foreign people living in the city at local polls. But that issue may not match with the original purpose of the event. Indeed, the mayor of Angers wrote on tow hall website "to improve the environment and the live together", "to share your expectations and your projects" as ways of participation for inhabitants, whatever be their nationality.

Credit picture : Wikipedia
In order to make believe in the support of an overwhelming majority of inhabitants to the right of vote of foreign people to local elections, the organizers had planned a (inflated) "civic voting" which results was worthy of the USSR : 94% of voters (foreigners included?) were favorable to that! The "event" was covered by the local website on a totally biaised mood, that one even claiming on an unvoluntary mood that "Their only difficulty [of foreign people was], not to be nationalized (sic)" (naturalized?).

That generous, but a little bit preposterous, posture doesn't cause progress in the daily life of Angers  inhabitants. May be the "Participation Day" has triggered, as the mayor had hoped, "expectations and projects". Those are not visible yet.

20 February, 2011

"Paintings and drawings" from Julien Parsy in the Grand Théâtre

The Grand Théâtre d'Angers will host from march 9th till april 17th the works of an angevin artist, Julien Parsy. Graduated of the Angers Fine-Arts School where he studied with Jean-Pierre Pincemin, Julien Parsy will exhibit works gathered under the simple, even elementary, title "Paintings and drawings".

Credit pictures : www.julienparsy.com
But that dry and quite unattractive title hides a very different material. The works of this young artist (he was born in 1972, lives and works in Angers) disclose a very classical touch which leads the viewers to think of the world of Impressionists even if the Parsy's universe (especially when he uses violet colors) is of course different of the one of these genius. The paintings and drawings of the artist are more a humble "invitation to seek what make the artistic creation appealing and moving". Oil paintings, pastels (where tones and forms are staggered) and charcoal drawings of landscapes "demand to the viewers they meditate" on the origins of their emotions.

The colourful Parsy's works (which size is sometimes monumental) have been exhibited one time per year since 2000 in different cities like Angers, Nantes, Le Mans or Saint Etienne and abroad. 

19 February, 2011

Morning fog in Angers city

Sign of a milder weather, the city of Angers was envelopped on february 18th of a thick fog on the first hours of the day. While those are getting longer, the mist darkened the streets, making the traffic a little bit slow. In spite of that limited eyesight, the perspective was unusual : ghostly shadows of the trees which branches disappearing in the fog and invisible pedestrians, more cautious than usual for crossing the ways.

Though, that presence of mist in town is not so rare. According to climatic datas, Angers is wrapped with fog 43 days per year (when the national average is 40 days annually). That is explained by the location of the city at the limit of oceanic and continental climates, but also by the presence of many rivers, the Maine, but also the Mayenne, the Sarthe and the Brionneau along with natural and artificial lakes.

That could lead the city to rule more strictly the traffic because pedestrians, bikes, cars, cabs and buses will be next to the new cable car. One of the main difference with England is the lack of discipline of the first who cross the ways out of the zebra crossing or do so in spite of opposite lighting signals, because they have the false impression they are seen.  Some progress have to be realized in the years to come.

18 February, 2011

"Angers Loire Valley" : "y" to change?

Is the capital of Anjou get back in touch with its English heritage? Angers Loire métropole introduced on Februaru 15th a new name designed to overcome an identity deficit. According to surveys, many tourists and businessmen don't know where Angers is in France. So the Angers Loire Métropole council decided "to build a new image which has broken away with the former", said Daniel Loiseau, who unveiled that new denomination : "Angers Loire Valley".

Credit pictures : Wikipedia
The brand is perfectly understandable by inhabitants of Angers who, most of them, are not at ease in English. Moreover, it gives to the city an international aspect. The more interesting is this name is the result of a poll luauched in 2009 with inhabitants, tourists and people contributing to the development of the province. The goal of Angers Loire Valley is simple : "to enlarge the visibility and the influence of the metropole".

While English appears as something which is no longer ignored by the public institutions entrustred with the future of the province, curiously, medias coverage didn't point out that aspect. Tough the new brand  was introduced, and apparently welcome with interest, by local businessmen gathered for the opening of the event : "Made in Angers"...

17 February, 2011

The "Sco-rched" Angers city council

 News Analysis. - The Angers city council is at the center of many questions asked by local medias regarding its part, or its absence of part, in the Sco story. A crisis meeting was held on february 14th at town hall. The city council is accused to have not paid attention to "disturbing elements" in the financial reports of the club. Regarding warning signals sent by the chartered accountant in his reports, the city council claims it never received them.

If that is true, why did it pay out a 500 000 € advance to the Sco? Why has the city council paid a survey (200 000 €) regarding a new stadiun to a company, property of the chairman of the club himself, which could not have the necessary neutrality to lead such a work? While the city council knew the Sco had to get the certification of its annual reports by a chartered accountant, why he didn't demand it? 

The trial of Willy Bernard, chairman of the Sco, on April 8th could enlarge its debates to the behaviour of the town hall. And that could reduce the ability of the city to implement a new tax designed to balance its budget and make even more unpopular some planned expenses. Months to come will demand from politicians a sporting spirit!

16 February, 2011

The first April shower in Angers last staturday

The weather in Angers province is becoming milder these days. The atmosphere is rainy. Gardens and streets are wet. Winter is not over yet but spring is slightly knocking at the door. In clumps, the shoots of daffodils are emerging and will start to bloom in the days to come. The forsythia branches starts to turn yellow. But the first clue of the change of season is the arrival of the April showers.

Last saturday in the afernoon Angers got its firts of 2011, covering the ground with little round white balls which melted a few minutes after they dropped. April showers is a short and violent rain which occurs during the transition from winter to spring and is caused by the meteorologicoa phenomenon of convection.

The convection is a vertical move of the air itself due to thermical contrast which takes place when spring is coming : the low layers of atmosphere are heating while low temperatures still remain in altitude and the ground is still cold. Due to vertical air streams, wet and mild air rises and condenses, creating clouds of droplets made of water or ice. Others may arrive in the weeks to come.

15 February, 2011

The 13th Africa Movie Festival of Angers in april

The 13th Africa Movie Festival will take place in Angers from april 12th to 17th. Organized by the association Cinemas and Africa Cultures, the object of that event is to  introduce the African cinematography as well the culture of that continent to the French audience. The festival presents a selection of about 20 short and features films by directors coming from all over Africa.

Designed for all publics, the Festival will dedicate time to documentaries and some of the works showed will deal with historical issues. The 13th edition of the Africa Movie Festival aims to get the attention of the youth throughout special movies which tell them stories.

The opening and closing showing will be hosted by the Congress center while others will be screened at the Gaumont variétés. Talkings with African directors will take place in Chemellier hall. Two prizes will be awarded : an audience award and a youth award for short films as well as feature films.

The association Cinemas and Africa Cultures, founded in 1992 which purposes are the development of cultural links with that continent, has planned with Angers numerous events, among them a musical parade in down town on April 13th.

14 February, 2011

The Lorraine square under works

After the low part of the Mail gardens and the car park of Maréchal Leclerc square, it's up to Lorraine square to be renovated. Construction vehicles have take possession of the place since the beginning of february. The  pavement has been removed and the trees uprooted. Presently, the Lorraine square shows a devastated face as if a bomb were dropped there.

If the works in the Mail gardens were linked from the disease of the trees, it's not the case in Lorraine square. The place is closed, so a repositioning of the bus stops and a change in the traffic ways could be planned because of the cable car which will be in working order within a few months. Presently, that little square has numerous functions : it helps public transports, car traffic and pedestrians. It's may be too much.

According to the scheme published by town hall, these functions could not change because the Lorraine square  is due to keep an access for residents, to increase the parking lots and to facilitate the traffic of pedestrians and bikers. These future functions yet exist. So the materials used for that renovation will have to be of high quality in order to make the square fit with the surroundings.

13 February, 2011

The Angers press points out the efforts of youngs and elders to speak English

The local press, through Le Courrier de l'Ouest, dedicated, within a few weeks, two coverages about the learning of English in Angers. At the beginning of the current month, an article described the choices of retired inhabitants to get back to English for leisure purposes like travels or/and as a way to keep intellectual rythm and fight even the Alzeimer disease.

Recently, the press gave attention to the youngests, children from 3 to 5 years old whose parents decided they would attend English courses at the English-Language Library in Angers. That interest for English is becoming more common in the city as in France. For the current year, the Municipal Institute of Angers announced it had to increase the number of courses because the increase of the demand. In both cases, the learners have the same wish : to speak fluently English as soon as possible.

There is a contast in Angers (as in many cities in France) between the presence of written English and the practice of spoken English. In the first case, pedestrians in down town can face many ads in English or many stores which commercial names are in English. In fact, people express a desire of more proximity with the English world they don't get with French television. On the same newspaper, the head of English studies in the Western Catholic University criticizes appropriately the scarce diffusion of English speaking movies in tv programms that makes difficult to viewers to hear and understand English.

12 February, 2011

The reputation of Angers city and the Conseil général will be damaged by the Sco case

News analysis. - If the reputation of the Sco is at risks because its chairman, Willy Bernard, was suspended for allegations of financial misuses - a trial has been planned on april 8th but the businessman benefits of the presumption of innocence - the reputation of the two main local public sponsors of the club could be seriously more damaged. The complaints they lodged could come too late and the money, 610 500 € from town hall and 207 000 € from the Conseil général, could vanish definitely.

The Angers soccer club is an non profitable organization which legally and financially depends on a public anonymous sports purpose company where the Angers municipal council has a delegate, Michel Houdbine, entrusted with sports. The company which manages the Sco is due to publish annualy a report established by an auditor. Michel Houdbine said in local press : "If we had have the least suspicion about the neatness of the accounts, we would have taken the least risk". The problem was visibly nobody read the auditor's reports which pointed out anomalies since two years...

And the most devious element of the case is the department entrusted with the relations with Sco demanded twice to the club the accounts for the financial years 2009 and 2010 it never got, while half the money was nevertheless paid out.

11 February, 2011

"20 minutes" daily newspaper will bloom from march in Angers city

The Angers inhabitants will get from mid march a new newspaper. "20 minutes", the first free national newspaper, will touch Angers as well as 12 new French cities, among them Le Mans and Orléans (there is yet an regional edition in Nantes and Rennes) and will so achiev the level of 31 editions in France, Spain and Switzerland.That daily will be available in many public places (like La Tribune d'Angers, a weekly newspaper) : railway station, car parks or cultural institutions.

While "20 minutes" will not have a local editorial office in Angers, it will nevertheless cover the local news in many fiels : politics, economy, culture and so. The local editions of the daily are also on the web. The costs of "20 minutes" are entirely financed by ads.

The daily newspaper was launched in 1999 par a Norwegian company, Schibsted. Its format is 23,8 x32,2 cm (also called half-berliner). Thanks to that expansion of its geograpical distribution, "20 minutes" will be present in four French cities about five ranging 200 000 inhabitants and more. The next step of the daily could lead it till 51 local editions in France.

10 February, 2011

Hundreds of managers gather in Angers to think about the sense of working

Several hundreds of young managers gathered on february 8th at the Angers congress center in order to dicover why people work? "Why do I work" was the issue of an evening planned by the Centre des jeunes dirigeants d'entreprise who invited a former trade union leader, now manager, Nicole Notat, a philosopher, André Comte-Sponville and a member of the French Académie, Erik Orsenna.

The work of managers will become more and more complicated, warns André Comte-Sponville, because their task "is to make work people who consider the work as a burden". The solution could come from a desecretion of the work because "work is not, and never was, a value". But the work has a cost and it has to give sense to life. According to Nicole Notat, the managers will have to worry about issues which are not the first goal of the business, the profit, because the profit is endangered if the company doesn't pays attention to issues for which the people they make working are worried. And according to the author, Erik Orsenna, it's important "to take pleasure in work".

Founded before the second world war, the Cjd is a non profit making organization which goal is to help young businessmen to develop their skills in management.

09 February, 2011

Maréchal Leclerc square is turning green

Angers city has turned green the car park located in front of the justice hall, Maréchal Leclerc square. Tens of trees have been planted along the parking lots which will, within a few years, give to that tar space a more natural look and more shade. That plantation will give a little more attractiveness to the saturdays market which takes place here since years, without, apparently, reducing the number of lots of the car park.

A few weeks before, the city gardens department had yet change the trees in the Mail garden just above. Due to illness, tens of trees hab been brought down. and the design of the place could have been slightly changed. The city looks to grant attention to the charm of public spaces.

At Christmas period, Angers inhabitants expressed a little disappointment regarding the mineral look of the Ralliement square, considering it lacked trees (but places have been planned to receive them).

08 February, 2011

Angers city council sets up a "participation day" to stimulate new ideas regarding life in town

Town hall sets up on february 19th a participation day in order to  look for new ways to improve the involvment of citizens in the design of the urban environment as well as the the ways it's possible to improve the common life in Angers. "Act together fo our city", sends out Jean-Claude Antonini, the mayor to the inhabitants who are eager to dedicate a day, at Le Quai Theatre, to express their expectations and their projects in that matter.

A "participation village" will open its doors in the theatre in order to illustrate the numerous way which every citizen has to associate hihmself to the city life : exhibitions, screenings, talks with inhabitants as well as professionnals. And, from 9 h 00 to 16 h 00, several conferences and workshops will try to set up a brainstorming about the matters in which Angers city is eager to listen to new ideas : school, movings, culture, sports and leisures...

In order to enlarge the accessibility of the event to mothers or disabled persons, the town hall has planned special facilities like nursery, deaf and dumb language interpreter. 

07 February, 2011

The montly free visits of the Angers castle are not free... from critics

Archeological works since 1992...
 Thanks to its free entrance every first sunday of each month, the Angers castle attracts a lot of people. These do not come from far, but mostly from the city and its surroundings. And all do not hide their pleasure to discover once more the most beautiful monument of the Anjou province. Even if, presently, the jewel of the Anjou history is a little out of shape, because the works on the Royal Home, destroyed by fire two years ago, ruin its beauty, the circuit suggested to visitors is not immune from critics.

One of models of the castle
Because a castle is, above all, a building, it could be appropriate to point out the rocky promontory as it was before the first construction, the successive stages of its development and of its decline. This is the most ludic aspect, and the most understandable, of its history. Instead of that, the visitors can see four old and gloomy models of the castle in two dusty and cold rooms under pale lightings. but this is not the only clue about the lack of marketing in the visitors' walk throughout the monument.

You are welcome...
The Apocalypse tapestry gallery is preceded by a show room where books and souvenirs about the Roi René castle are sold. If, there is nothing to say regarding that commercial offer, its location raise questions when the access to the castle is not free. It means that the store is not able to sale to nobody but people who have already bought a ticket. It would be more appropriate to put that store outside the castle in order to increase sales and give to pedestrians the desire to come in. The marketing approach in museology is critically missing...

06 February, 2011

The King's speech let Angers audience... speechless

Numerous inhabitants of Angers and the surroundings and, among them English people, attended on saturday night, "The King's speech" screened in original version in the "Les 400 coups" cinema in down town. According to the tickets sellers, the movie is good and appreciated by local audience which standed in a queue from the theatre entrance up the middle of the junction of Saint-Laud and Deux-Haies streets. The auditorium was complete.

That is justified by the quality of the movie. Subtil and lively dialogues, accuracy of the characters and period, sparkling images, the English cocktail was perfect. The film has two levels : a fascinating relationship between teacher and monarch (what really makes the film worth seeing) and an impeccably crafted chapter from recent British history.

 But the The King's speech also set people an exemple of courage, an attempt to get a country about an amorphous fear of a grim future that could inspire many politicians and citizens of today's world who have to negotiate the bend between the twentieth and the twenty first centuries.

05 February, 2011

The King's speech on Angers screens

Two cinemas of Angers, Les 400 coups and the Gaumont Multiplexe, show from the begining of february the archetypal English movie : "The king's speech", which tells the story of King George VI, who had to overcome a debilitating stammer to instill confidence in a nation at war.If the movie is dubbed in French, some of the screenings are in English and so translate more accurately the voices and, thus, the tempers of the characters.

The King's speech is so an historital drama. Directed by the English Tom Hooper, the film won the 2010 Toronto International Film festival People's Choice Award  and has been nominated for twelve Academy Awards nominations, including best picture, actor, director and original screenplay, supporting actress and supporting actor. The King and Queen parts are played by two English actors. the part of the Australian speech therapist is interpretated by an Aussie.

The movie has been criticized in France as the "latest manifestation of British narcissism" summarised as "We are ugly and boring, but, By Jove!, we have good reason!".

04 February, 2011

John-Franklin Koenig "His life and work" at the Angers fine arts museum

Crédit picture : wikipédia
The Angers fine arts museum hosts, since a few days and up to april, the works of an american painter, John-Frankin Koenig. The city museum inherited from the artist ten of his abstract paintings beacuse he loved Angers and even thought to live there.

Better known in Europe and Japan than in his native country,  Koenig was an international artist. Born in Seattle in 1924, he became interested in art at a young age, particularly the Asian art he found at the Seattle Art Museum. Drafted into the army in 1943, Koenig fought in Europe until the end of the war.

Credit Picture : Angers museum
Returning to the U.S. after the war, Koenig studied French and French literature as well as design and art during that period. On finishing his degree in 1948, John moved to Paris where he would live for the following 30 years. In Paris, he began working on collage and later paintings, inspired by European artists, and also by Oriental works he saw on nearly a dozen trips to Japan.

His paintings and collages have been shown in nearly 150 solo exhibitions around the world and are part of collections in a number of international museums : Paris, Tokyo,Montreal, Luxembourg and Seattle. Koenig returned to his native city in 2006, where he died in January 2008 at the age of 83.

03 February, 2011

Loire Valley Trade Fair : the "World Wine Web" in Angers

One of the main events of the Loire Valley Trade Fair, which ended on february 2nd and welcomed 600 exhibitors and 9 000 trade buyers of the wine sector, was the launching, during its three opening days, of a "Master Class" designed to teach consumers how a wine has to be savoured. The Master Class (formerly simple workshops) was presented by some of the region's most respected wine technicians on a given subject during around one hour.

For this "brand new event", the new tasting workshop was dedicated to the Sauvignon, one of the Loire valley's three white varieties while another workshop was devoted to the Cabernet Franc, one of the reds varieties. After each presentation, "sommeliers from the Val de Loire branch of the French Sommelier's Union organized a tasting".

 Established in 1987, the Loire Valley Wine Trade Fair "has become over the years one of the most important wine events in Europe". Moreover, although only wine producers from the Loire Valley may exhibit at the fair, it is marketed as an international trade event, and this is fully justified by the fact that 12% of its visitors are from overseas
(Credit pictures and graphic : Loire Valley Trade Fair)

02 February, 2011

The anglophone Nelson Mandela will give its name to an Angers new educational estate

An English speaking leader of the 20th century will give his name to the future educational institution which construction is due to start on february 17th in Angers. Nelson Mandela, former 1st president of South Africa, who spent the most part of his lifetime in jail because of his opposition to apartheid, will so be the denomination of that new building.

The educational equipment, located in the new district Les Capucins, will host 15 classes on which six will be nursery classes and nine elementary classes. The inhabitants will also have access to a library, a day-nursery and a leisure center for very young children. The educational estate will be surrounded by 10 000 flats and houses and served by the street-car.

The Nelson-Mandela estate will be working on september of 2012. According to town hall, the library will shelter high tech medias in order to familiarize the users to new technologies.
Nelson Mandela is not the unique anglophone personality to give one's name to a place in Angers. Several of the streets of Angers city new districts bear Englicized family names.