“What is this style? This is no style,” commented Empress Eugenie indignantly. “This is Napoleon III,” the witty architect Charles Garnier answered. The empress was impressed. Nothing else hindered the construction of the opera house in Paris – except for the little things like water, fire, the Paris Commune. Garnier was able to cope with the water – or rather, subsoil waters – by erecting a double wall in the basement. The wall will come in handy – though not for him, but for the writer Gaston Leroux. Inside it, the creator of the famous Phantom of the Opera will place his “torture room.” On January 5, 1875, the National Academy of Music and Dance, which would later be called the Grand Opera, opened its doors. What did the Parisians see? Sculptures on the facade are so magnificent that one of them even had to be copied to display the original at the Louvre, a luxurious white marble staircase, wonderful frescoes. What the Parisians did not see was the utility rooms that could have housed the Comedie Francaise theater. And the ceiling by Marc Chagall: the great French artist from Vitebsk painted it in 1966.
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«В мире науки»
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