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Works by Bernard Buffet (left) and Xavier Veilhan in Eric Troncy’s pavilion
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by Chris Sharp

"La Force de l’Art," May 9-June 25, 2006, at the Nef du Grand Palais, Porte principale, avenue Winston Churchill 75008 Paris

Something of a bordel magnifique -- a magnificent mess -- "La Force de l’Art" was viewed with such horreur in the French art world that you couldn’t help but root for it. Initially conceived by French prime minister Dominique de Villepin and immediately dismissed as mere political window dressing for his forthcoming presidential run, the show had a rocky start.