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Raymond Moretti’s Cheminee d’Aeration at La Defense. I was happy to see the interest in Moretti’s witty decoration of an exhaust chimney at La Defense. He used 672 fiberglass tubes in 1990 to decorate an otherwise gloomy exhaust pipe. You can find some other comments about the site on the website “A Day in Paris” by an ex-pat who has just relocated back to Washington DC after 5 years in Paris: http://parisdaily.hi-fipop.com. According to Wikipidia, Moretti’s parents left Fascist Italy in the 1930s. Moretti was born in Nice in 1931 and he died in Paris in June, 2005. In 1962 he was painting watercolors alongside Cocteau about the Age of Aquarius and in 1982 he received the Golden Eagle award for an art book. Apparently according to the A Day in Paris blog, the Cheminee is a favorite backdrop for photos in La Defense area. What would Mitterand think if he knew his Grand Arche played second fiddle to a decorated exhaust pipe? No one can truly predict what will artistically tickle the public fancy. If I were to make any wild guesses, I’d say that the typical walker in Paris is always thrilled to find something that might make one want to burst out in laughter. (Like the fountain across from Centre Pompidou.) A little bit of whimsy in a world that often takes itself too seriously.

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