L’Atelier des Lumieres is a unique art center presenting classic pieces of art in immense and video- and music-accompanied exhibitions. We came here in 2018 when they first opened and then also visited their sister site in Provence in 2019. Both of those shows were of art by Van Gogh and Klimt. The current presentations are of Cezanne and Kandinsky. And as always, it was breathtaking.
When Cliff drove us to L’Atelier des Lumieres on Sunday, we noticed that the police on motorcycles were busy closing off streets and traffic in the area was becoming challenging. Often after the police closed off a street, 4 or 5 of them would line up along the tape at the end of the street and just sit there on their motorcycles. After we came out of the theatre, we decided to find a sidewalk cafe in the area where we could have lunch outside and do some people-watching. That’s when we noticed there was a huge protest group gathering about 1/2 block down the street preparing to march. That huge ribbon of people marched through the intersection at the end of our street the entire time we were at the cafe. There were lots of people carrying different colors of flags but it was too far away to read what they said. Sometimes there were women speaking on loudspeakers and occasionally women sang songs over loudspeakers. Periodically there were loud booms and several times they set off tear gas bombs and we could see huge clouds of smoke. A middle-aged couple went into our restaurant briefly and when they came back out we could see the side of the woman’s face was very red and she was wiping it with a damp cloth. She had obviously been tear gased and was in a lot of discomfort. When then came out, they headed back to the protest. According to the news later in the evening, the marchers were protesting the government to lower the retirement age to 60, although I think there were also several other issues they were protesting too. May 1st, Labor Day here, is a traditional day of protest. My photos are too far away but here’s what I got.