Parisian nights light up Canberra

You'd be forgiven for mistaking Canberra for Paris, but may just do so for two nights only this March.
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The National Gallery of Australia has teamed up with Enlighten Festival to transform the Gallery’s forecourt into a lamp-lined boulevard reminiscent of the lively Parisian streets of the Belle Époque.

Paris, City of Light promenade is a free community event where live music, performance, art-making activities and French-inspired refreshments will be on offer to help transport the 19th-century Parisian joie de vivre straight into the warm summer nights of the Australian capital.

Over two nights on March 8 and 9, the NGA’s forecourt, Street Café, main foyer and James O Fairfax Theatre will replicate the same universe in which legendary artists such as Henri Matisse, Pierre Bonnard, Odilon Redon and a young Pablo Picasso found their inspiration. But, for the occasion, all eyes are more likely to be set on the ‘Dwarf of Montmartre’, Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, as Australia’s first ever major exhibition on the iconic artist opens its doors for special late-night viewings of its comprehensive retrospective featuring hundreds of works from more than 31 international collections.

Free screenings of Woody Allen’s romantic fantasy, Midnight in Paris, on Friday, as well as an anthology of short films paying tribute to the City of Lights, Paris, je t’aime, on Saturday, are also programmed for the event at 9:30pm on each night.

The initiative is one of many of the exclusive events and late-night outdoor experiences taking place during Enlighten 2013. Now in its third edition, the festival aims to showcase Canberra as a diverse and contemporary city filled with cultural gems.

For more information visit the National Gallery of Australia’s website.

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