‘Pain au chocolat’ a pain in the neck for French parliament

Screen grab showing different price depending on what the pastry is called (BFMTV)
Updated 24 May 2018
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‘Pain au chocolat’ a pain in the neck for French parliament

PARIS: The French phrasebooks may have to remove the term ‘pain au chocolat’, one of the few French phrases that many tourists can muster, from the food chapter, if some French lawmakers get their way.
Their amendment is one of thousands holding up the passage of a new French food law. The lawmakers from Gascony, better known for its rugby, bull running and duck-meat delicacies, say the sweet pastry they call “chocolatine” originates from their region.
Aurelien Pradie and other right-wing MPs from the area say the law should be more supportive of local gastronomy, including “a pastry whose name historically draws on origins in the Gascony region and which is the pride of the south of France.”
Little matter that most of the children across the rest of France who traditionally get a pain au chocolat at the end of their school day would struggle to recognize the term.
But Amendment 2064’s chances of making it into law may anyway be slim, as it competes for debating time with weightier proposals on improving food safety or banning pesticides.


Banksy ‘snow’ pollution mural sold for over $130,000

Updated 18 January 2019
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Banksy ‘snow’ pollution mural sold for over $130,000

  • The ‘snow pollution’ mural appeared in the town of Swansea Bay, home to one of the biggest steelworks in the world
  • The buyer will lend the mural to Port Talbot in hopes it would attract international artists to the area

LONDON: A mural by elusive British street artist Banksy depicting a child enjoying falling snow that is in fact pollution from a burning bin has been sold for over $130,000 to a British art dealer.
From one side, the “Season’s Greetings” mural on a concrete block garage in Wales shows a small boy with his tongue out to catch snow that, when viewed from another side, turns out to be ash from an industrial bin.
“I bought it and it cost me a six-figure sum,” John Brandler of Brandler Galleries, told Reuters by telephone.
“I am lending it to Port Talbot for a minimum of two or three years. I want to use it as a center for an art hub that would bring in internationally famous artists to Port Talbot.”
The mural appeared last month in the town on the edge of Swansea Bay, home to one of the biggest steelworks in the world.
Brandler, 63, said the entire mural — on the corner of a garage — had to be moved in one piece. He declined to give a specific price for the piece.
When asked how he could afford such luxuries, he said: “I am an art dealer. I own several Banksies, I also own (John) Constable, (Thomas) Gainsborough, (Joseph Mallord William) Turner, I’ve got (urban artist) Pure Evil — I’ve got all sorts of art.”
“My hobby is my business. The last time I went to work was when I was 18,” Brandler said.
Banksy, who keeps his real name private, has become the most famous street artist in the world by poking fun at the excesses of modern capitalism and lampooning hollow icons, slogans and opinions.
Previous works include “Mobile Lovers” which shows an embrace between lovers who stare over each other’s shoulders at their mobile phones and an abrupt warning near Canary Wharf in London that reads “Sorry! The lifestyle you ordered is currently out of stock.”