"Paris la nuit" (Paris at night) intensifies the city. On the 1st of march 1978, Fabrice Emaer inaugurated the Palace, with a memorable performance from singer Grace Jones staged by director and photographer Jean-Paul Goude. The former music hall, from this point onward opened to diversity in terms of sexualities and social circles, became the centre of Parisian night life.
Perhaps with a tinge of nostalgia of these festive nights from the 1970s and the 1980s, Nuit Blanche offers, since the 5th of October 2002 and from dusk to dawn, poetic wanderings in the streets of the city. Its first artistic director, Jean Blaise, tells us about the magical character of this event when "the public takes the street and makes the night". Ever since then, Nuit Blanche has become a yearly event.
Areas at nighttime can reveal spaces of solitude where individuals might call for help. In the recent global energy crisis, electricity consumption of architectural lights has been progressively reduced, which took part in curbing light pollution.
Will we be able to soon see the starry sky, listed as Natural Heritage by Unesco?
Anne de Mondenard, conservatrice en chef du patrimoine, département des photographies et images numériques
Anne-Laure Sol, conservatrice en chef du patrimoine, département des peintures et vitraux
with Alexandra Dreyfus, chargée des contenus audiovisuels/transmédias
Photography (detail) : Hervé Sellin, Néons parisiens disparus, 1977-1979 © Hervé Sellin