If we could fly, we’d blast over to Versailles to see the spectacular show by Japanese pop artist Takashi Murakami currently housed there. The opulent palace built by French monarch Louis XIV (The Sun King) is perfectly complemented by the extravagant work by the great Murakami, who has worked with capitalist icons like Louis Vuitton in the past and whose work often engages with materialism. However, Prince Sixte-Henri de Bourbon-Parme, a descendant of Louis XIV, feels the show is slumming for the historical landmark.

“By exhibiting at Versailles, artists benefit from an added value,” he told the AFP news agency. “We’re not against the modernity of art but against a way of thinking that denatures and does French culture no good,” the prince said.

Obviously this is a veiled response to the Manga Menace which has engulfed Europe. Takashi’s “super-flat” style takes much of its imagery from anime and manga.

These last living aristocrats previously complained about a Jeff Koons show at Versailles. The Murakami show closes December 12th, so get on over!


  1. I saw the show. At first the juxtaposition of Murakami’s brightly colored manga sculptures against the rococco palace was interesting. After a while, not so much. The best thing was the first large sculpture which sort of snuck up and surprised you as you entered the room. I also liked the gold statue in the pic you have outside on the plaza as the gilt . Frankly, a lot of the rest was less interesting. Afterwards I just wished I had more time to spend in the gardens-maybe they should have put more of the pieces out there.

  2. There was certainly a clash. Most French people didn’t seem to like it. I liked particularly the little statue of Murakami with his god waving hello.

  3. When you quote Prince Sixte-Henri de Bourbon-Parme (gee what a name), just remember that the french people cut the head of his late ancestors… that gives you an idea of how much we care about this guy’s opinion :)