Not Really A Post……

images…..just a fragment of interest from Wednesday’s Lunchtime Lecture at the Barber Institute.

Did you know that the first Arc de Triomphe, constructed in 1790, to celebrate the first anniversary of the storming of the Bastille, was made of papier mache.

One can only hope that it didn’t rain.


15 thoughts on “Not Really A Post……

  1. Never underestimate the strength of chewed paper! But in a related story, the buildings constructed in San Diego (Balboa Park) for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition (World’s Fair) in 1915 were not papier-mâché but were considered temporary construction that would not last. Well, they’re still there but in most cases they have been repaired and renovated to make the intricate Spanish façades more permanent. In fact, there are many examples of buildings and constructions through the centuries that may have first been made of less sturdy materials only to be destroyed (often by fire) and rebuilt several times. This is similar to the life of doo-wop groups from the ’50s that are still playing the retirement home circuit in Florida.

    1. You’re right, Mike. There are still homes not far from where I live that were built as temporary accommodation for those who were bombed out during the second world war doing very nicely, thank you.

    1. As far as I know, Stefanie, it was the same size as the permanent monument. As a primary teacher who had far too many encounters with papier mache that just makes me shudder!

      1. Too bad Guiness World Records weren’t around at the time or it would be in the book as world’s largest papier mache structure. Hopefully is was more skillfully constructed than a primary school student’s work 😉

  2. I worked on a 104 foot tall ship once that was used in the thriller ‘Dead Calm’, which gets burned at sea. For this they made a paper mache replica also, incredible, a floating, burning boat. 🙂

    1. It’s all those years as a primary teacher, Claire. Just the very thought of all that papier mache mess sends shivers down my spine.

  3. Your papier maché arch had me wondering. Actually there are two archs, one smaller in front of Louvre (20m high) and the more famous one at the end of Champs Elysées (50m high). Wikipedia tells me they have been commissioned by Napoléon at the same time, but I believe a paper one could only be like the smaller one.

    1. The lecturer did have a picture, Smithereens, but there was nothing else there to give an idea of height. If I see him around the University next week I shall have to ask him about it.

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