Obamas enjoy modern art on Paris jaunt

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The US first family visited Paris' iconic Pompidou Centre modern art gallery on Sunday as President Barack Obama stole a few hours of private time at the end of a breakneck diplomatic tour.

Paris - The US first family visited Paris' iconic Pompidou Centre modern art gallery on Sunday as President Barack Obama stole a few hours of private time at the end of a breakneck diplomatic tour.

The 30-car presidential motorcade disappeared into a subterranean garage close to the postmodernist landmark, known for its exposed pipework and lift shafts as much as for hosting world class exhibitions and events.

Security was tight, with helicopters clattering overhead, and small crowds of tourists were disappointed not to catch a glimpse of the first couple and their daughters 10-year-old Malia and seven-year-old Sasha on their arrival.

But later Obama, in a white shirt and no tie, Michelle in a white cardigan and the two girls could be seen on the top floor admiring the panoramic view of Paris, as people waved at them from below.

The president was due to fly back to Washington later Sunday, but the rest of the family was expected to stay on in Paris for a short private visit.

On Saturday night the visitors were cheered by huge crowds as they visited the Gothic splendour of the Notre Dame cathedral, and then went on to dine privately in a traditional bistro.

The Obama girls' tourist treats began Friday, when they went up the Eiffel Tower with their mother for a bird's-eye view of Paris, a visit that ended magically as the tower lit up with thousands of sparkling lights.

The US leader's official programme ended on Saturday at a ceremony in Normandy to mark the 65th anniversary of the D-Day landings, following a three day swing through Saudi Arabia, Cairo and Germany.

AFP / Expatica

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