Although Parisians have an affinity for gold bangles, one thing you won’t see quite as often are ostentatious diamond rings. That may have something to do with Marie Antoinette. It’s one thing to be a spendthrift and fritter government money away on baubles – it’s another thing to be accused of having secretly commissioned an outrageously expensive necklace – through the intercession of a cardinal.
The Queen’s Necklace scandal makes modern-day excess look positively stoic in comparison. While we watch reality TV mimicking every day banality,18th-century Paris brimmed with real life scandal of operatic proportions. Some historians feel the scandal may have been the last straw propulsing the French people toward a revolution.
You have to read the whole story to see how such a great con was pulled off, but more importantly for 21st-century Paris visitors, you can actually relive the juiciest moments of this tale of greed and deception which gives new definitions to ‘cardinal sins’.
Parislogue has just learned that a reenactment of the Queen’s Necklace scandal will be conducted at the Cardinal’s actual residence. Normally closed to the public, the residence which now houses the National Archive will be opened exceptionally for this theatrical presentation (in French).
Here is an extraordinary opportunity to put your years of French lessons to work by spending an intimate evening at the Cardinal Rohan’s residence and learn all the details of this juicy scandal straight form the cardinal himself. Reservations are an absolute must.
The event is organized by the inimitable Marc Soleranski, cultural guide par excellence. You may recall that his theatrical event at the Hotel de Lauzun on Ile St. Louis was one of Parislogue’s top rated events for 2007, so if you’re in Paris for the Queen’s Necklace Scandal, don’t miss this one!
Dates: January 12, 26, and 27, 2008.
Admission: 20 Euros.
Rendezvous: in front of No. 87, rue Vieille-du-Temple 75003
Tel. 06 62 81 57 29