In which we discover an underground movement of "Cultural Guerrillas" in France who sneak around repairing and restoring antiques without their owner's permission.
There are always some interesting discussions bouncing back and forth in the How Things Work group at Yahoo.
Just today as I pen these words, for example, everyone is talking about an underground movement of "Cultural Guerrillas" in France who sneak around repairing and restoring antiques without their owners' permission.
It seems that since their formation in the 1990s, this group has restored crypts, staged readings and plays in monuments at night, and organized rock concerts in quarries. The network was unknown to the authorities until 2004, when the police discovered an underground cinema, complete with bar and restaurant, under the Seine. Apparently the police have been looking for them ever since (one can't but help thinking of Peter Sellers as Inspector Jacques Clouseau in the Pink Panther films).
The reason this group is currently in the news is that they repaired a clock. And not just any old clock. This antique masterpiece – which had been left to rust since the 1960s – lives in the Panthéon, which is the burial place for such luminaries as Voltaire, Victor Hugo, and Marie Curie.
It seems that for a from September 2005, this group of "drive-by restorers" established a secret workshop (including a lounge – well, you've got to be able to relax and chill out sometime, don't you?) under both the Panthéon's famous dome and the noses of the building's unsuspecting security guards (again, Inspector Jacques Clouseau spings immediately to mind).
Eventually, when the group had finally revamped this treasure of a timepiece, they revealed themselves and informed the curator of the Panthéon, Bernard Jeannot, as to what they had done.
What do you think happened next? Did Bernard burst into tears of joy and kiss everyone on both cheeks? Sadly not. In a farcical "it could only happen in France" turn of events, he instead launched a criminal investigation into the repair of the clock.
You have to laugh, don't you? Especially when you hear that the clock has now been returned to its inactive state, because the knuckleheads in the administration hired some company to stop it (give me strength).
On a happier note, the four members of the underground movement who were charged, were eventually cleared of breaking into the 18th-century monument. (Click Here or Here for articles on this topic).
Questions? Comments? Feel free to email me – Clive "Max" Maxfield – at firstname.lastname@example.org). And, of course, if you haven't already done so, don't forget to Sign Up for our weekly Programmable Logic DesignLine Newsletter.