Friday, June 22, 2007


(Reuters) - "France will unveil one of its most dazzling architectural showcases, the Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles, next week after a restoration that has brought fresh life to colors buried for years under grime.

Frederic Didier, chief architect of France's historical monuments, told Le Figaro daily that it now looked "like a dazzling old lady. And all the wrinkles in her face tell a story," he said.

Built in 1684 on the orders of the "Sun King" Louis XIV, the Hall, which takes its name from 357 mirrors that run along its 73 meter (220 feet) length was the centerpiece of a palace designed to emphasize the power and glory of the monarch.

The decor is considered a high point of European art in the 17th century, a period when France's might and influence was at its height.


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