Our recent visit to Paris brought up one of my Mum’s favourite travel stories.
When I was little, my parents took me on a trip to Paris where upon arriving, we visited the Musée de l’Orangerie the home of Monet’s Waterlilies.
These incredible paintings are a series of around 250 pieces inspired by Monet’s own garden in Giverny, Normandy. The ones housed in the Musée de l’Orangerie measure 200cm x 1700cm on curved canvas and are set in an oval room built specifically for them so that you can stand in the middle and be surrounded by waterlilies.
We were all tired from the flight and what was meant to be a peaceful visit quickly descended into utter chaos.
Arriving in the room, my Dad to try to entertain me asks; ‘Verity, can you find any tadpoles?’ Now, there are no barriers in front of the waterlilies, instead you’ll find a neat red line which screams ‘do not cross me’. It screams ‘do not cross me’ to everyone except a 1 year old who’s quite proficient in the wobble walk. I’ve been asked to find some tadpoles and the only way I’m going to do that is by getting a closer look. A closer look that involves crossing the red ‘do not cross me’ line, smacking both my hands onto the painting and looking really hard!
A guard quickly descended on us, she screamed (in French), I screamed (in English), Mum desperately tried to apologise, Dad scooped me up before I could do anymore damage and we promptly left.
It’s safe to say they’ve now changed their red line policy in favour of a little rail; I do not know if that was because of me, I would like to think so.
Every time I now visit an art gallery, my Mum asks me if I’ve touched any more Monet’s. If you want to visit without visiting they also have a virtual tour online.
The Moral of the Story: Don’t cross the red lines on the floor!