Mammoth, meteorite to go on auction in France

21st March 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, March 20, 2007 (AFP) - The skeleton of a Siberian mammoth dating back some 15,000 years and a meteorite from Russia go on auction in Paris next month in the first such sale of curiosities from paleontogy, Christie's auction house said Tuesday.

PARIS, March 20, 2007 (AFP) - The skeleton of a Siberian mammoth dating back some 15,000 years and a meteorite from Russia go on auction in Paris next month in the first such sale of curiosities from paleontogy, Christie's auction house said Tuesday.

The skeletons of a woolly rhinoceros and of a cave bear along with rare bird and fish fossils are also to go under the hammer during the April 16 auction in Paris.

The complete skeleton of the mammoth, with its impressive tusks, stands at 3.8 metres (12.5 feet) and measures over 4.8 metres in length. Its estimated value is between 150,000 euros (199,400 dollars) and 180,000 euros.

The skeleton of the woolly rhinoceros, from 10,000 years ago, is expected to fetch up to 65,000 euros while the bear is valued at between 20,000 and 25,000 euros.

A 150-kilogramme (331-pound) meteorite from Russia containing semi-precious stones and showing rare marks of its entry into the atmosphere is up for grabs, valued at between 90,000 and 120,000 euros.

Also from Russia at the Christie's auction will be a private collection of trilobites, or fossils of arthropods, dating from 400 million years ago.

The fossil of an angel fish dating back 50 million years and one of only five known examples of the species in the world will be offered for sale for some 50,000 to 80,000 euros.

It is the last such fossil in private hands, from the collection of veterinarian Jean Bouhanna.

A rare bezoar, a pearl that forms in the stomach of certain herbivores, valued at up to 25,000 euros also goes under the hammer.

'French Spring' cultural festival to bloom in Latvia

RIGA, March 20, 2007 (AFP) - Latvia will usher in spring on Wednesday with the opening of a season-long festival celebrating the rich culture of France.

The three-month-long event will kick off with an exhibition at Latvia's National Art Museum in Riga of Fauvist paintings from the early 1900s, on loan from the Bordeaux Art Museum.

On Wednesday evening, French conductor Patrick Souillot will lead the Latvian Symphony Orchestra and State Academic Choir in a performance of Hector Berlioz's "La Damnation de Faust" at the National Theatre.

"The festival will give a special stimulus to our relations. It will allow a wide public of both countries -- professionals, artists and media specialists -- to get to know each other, our creativity and our cultural heritage," French ambassador to Latvia Andre-Jean Libourel told AFP.

The opening events will be attended by a number of dignitaries from France, including National Assembly President Patrick Ollier and former prime minister Alan Juppe, who is mayor of Bordeaux, which is a twin city with Riga.

Riga Mayor Janis Birks will be inducted into the Bordeaux Wine Council, which promotes and educates people around the world about wines from Bordeaux.

"French Spring", which will last until June 21, is France's way of repaying Latvia for the "Astonishing Latvia" festival that last year travelled the length and breadth of France and featured an exhibition of 'speaking stones' -- interactive presentations of various aspects of Latvian culture.

More than 200 events featuring French artists specialising in everything from gastronomy to art history and even circus arts, will perform in Riga and other larger towns and cities.

The festival is the largest French cultural festival ever organised in northern Europe, according to the website of the French Foreign Ministry, which is one of the main organisers of the event.

In addition to cultural events, "French Spring" will feature a programme of business seminars, aimed at bringing more French investors into Latvia, and will seek to promote scientific ties between the two countries.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

0 Comments To This Article