AFP covers the crowds at the Grand Palais:
“What’s four hours in a life,” said Olivier Selles, at the back of a four-hour-long queue in wintry cold. “This show is unique, because of the quality and rareness of the works, and the sheer size of the exhibition.” Held inside the vast Grand Palais in Paris, where auctioneers Christie’s built sets recreating Saint Laurent’s Paris flat for a real-life take on the 733-item collection, some 5,000 visitors had filed in within a couple of hours of the opening. [ . . . ] “It’s an historic collection and this is a chance to see key works that would otherwise be in museums,” said banker Bernard Alioth, who aims to bid for Art Deco and 18th century pieces at the auction.
Bloomberg does the same:
“It’s one of the greatest art collections in the world, and after Monday it will all be scattered,” the 59-year-old retired secretary said last night. She had taken the train from Amsterdam for a weekend in Paris. [ . . . ] The crowd inside was a cross section of Paris, with scruffy art students, large bourgeois families, and art connoisseurs in tweed jackets. There were lots of American and British accents, as well as Italians and Germans. Christie’s staff accompanied around their best clients, who were able to skip the long line outside. [ . . . ] Gregory Kuharic, a 58-year-old decorative arts consultant, had come from New York to see the show and attend the sale. “It’s one of those iconic events that everyone in the art world will be talking about for years, and if you are in the art business you just want to be there,” he said. “It’s a completely legendary collection, and a totally unique one in how it mixes so many different styles.”
The largest crowds gathered around a recreation of Saint Laurent’s Rue de Bablyone living room, where satin-covered couches and leopard-skin-covered footrests were surrounded by some of the sales’ most expensive items [ . . . ] “Some very good stuff, some much less good stuff,” said a Paris banker who didn’t want to give his name. A guard kept telling people to keep moving and the crowds became 10 deep in front of some paintings.