Exposition Le Chat

I just came across some photos on my aunt’s Facebook page of an interesting looking exhibition on the Champs Elysees in Paris. The pictures were of sculptures, purportedly of cats, but looking to me more like strange, anthropomorphised hippos. It made me miss the french capital more than ever, of course, but what caught my eye was the fact that the statues were titled not just in french but in English too: that is, beneath each statue was a plaque bearing it’s title both in French and English. Does that not strike you as odd? I’ve been to quite a few exhibitions here in london, and everything has always been in English. If they started naming things in french, there would probably be some sort of nationalist outcry. I’m not saying this is necessarily a bad thing – it’s good to see our French neighbours being so inclusive – but why is English becoming so predominant? It seems it’s even taking over the French capital, which must frankly be galling to any french person even remotely proud of their history and culture. Just imagine if the shoe was on the other foot. And why are they using English rather than any other European language, given we aren’t even members of the EU any more?

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