We went to the Palais de Justice yesterday but not to attend a hearing although we did visit two different courtrooms. We were also in a couple of assembly rooms, many corridors, and even a lounge where lawyers dressed in long, flowing black gowns with white scarves tied at their necks looked quizzingly at us. I overheard one of the avocats tell her colleagues that we were there to see the exposition. We had gone to the city’s courthouse to see an art exhibition.
As expected, when we entered the courthouse we had to empty our pockets and then pass through a metal detector. What we did not anticipate was then being told to simply follow the arrows to see all the various works by contemporary sculptor Philippe Gauberti on display throughout this mid-19th century building.We went upstairs, downstairs, into active courtrooms, through hallways, and offices admiring art on the walls, on pedestals, and in window wells.
I just read that despite its immense size, the Louvre only has room to display at any one time about 1/4th of the art in its possession. While this certainly isn’t Paris, it would seem that Carcassonne has a similar challenge. A flyer from the city’s tourist office lists 15 places around town with art exhibits, many of them government buildings, plus there are separate headings for events, exhibitions, museums, and artists’ workshops.
We arrived at the Palace before it reopened after lunch so we took an outdoor table at the café near the front entrance to enjoy people watching and a glass of wine each. With peanuts included the total bill was 3 euro. That was a pleasant surprise. Last Saturday when we attended the Flower Festival in Quillan, we got a different kind of shock when we stopped into a bar/bistro for a quick lunch of a baguette sandwich and wine. The big-screen television was tuned in to the Arts channel and a dozen people were enjoying coffee or wine and a program about food in the south of France. I think we have a lot of artful discoveries ahead!