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Paris Tête-à-Tête: Arts Update Teaser

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Persistence of Memory: View of the Eiffel Tower from the Centre Pompidou at dusk Photos by Theadora Brack

You're looking swell, Dalí

Hello, Dalí at the Centre Pompidou

Ring-a-Ding-Ding.

Allo? Allo? C’est moi, Theadora!

From sunrise to sunset, I’ve been poking around Paris non-stop, creating a new master list of attractions. Donning my freshly bobbed hairdo (with full, blunt bangs—no less!) and a tailored Nancy Drew “investigative” cap, I’ve dedicated the last few weeks to visiting the new spring arts exhibitions in the city.

Monuments, museums and galleries—I’ve tried to leave no historic cornerstone, cobblestone (or gift shop boutique, even) unturned, see.

Time flies

My eyes have seen the glory, along with few ghosts and goblins at the Musée d’Orsay, and phantoms over at the Opéra. I’ve also coveted beaucoup ballgowns and accessories by Poiret, Paquin, Vionnet, and the Callot Soeurs, along with Grès, Schiaparelli, and Balenciaga at the Hôtel d’Ville, before waiting hours for the dashing “Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí” at the nearby Centre Pompidou. Whew.

Juggling spectacles, I also ran away with the circus for one swell night at the Cirque d’hiver Bouglione in up-and-coming République. Monsieur Loyal’s one-ring “Eclat” show featured clowns, acrobates, trapézistes, and the sassy “Salto Dancers.” Imagine. Degas, Seurat, and Toulouse-Lautrec sat on these same red velvet seats! The cozy icosagonal-shaped house was packed to the gills!

Buste de Femme rétrospectif, Dalí, 1933 (Imagine waking up with bread head?) Heck, I've been there!

Buste de Femme rétrospectif, Dalí, 1933 (Imagine waking up with bread head?) Heck, I’ve been there!

Tip: The 2012-3013 season closes on Sunday, March 17th. If you’re currently in Paris, find a tiny car and get glee there immediately. I suggest buying your tickets in advance at the door. The website is a tad tricky. The seats in the very last row are just €12—but I’d spurge on one of the middle range cat bird seats! It’s worth every cent.

Upstairs, Downstairs

Calling all Downton Abbey fanatics, I’ve got a few historic house recommendations up my silky hand-sewn Poiret sleeve, I’m happy to report. For the love of shiny copper pots and pans, the “downstairs” kitchen at the Musée Nissim de Camondo is both BBC and Julia Child worthy. Hands-down, the “cuisine” is a showstopper, in my book. It still possesses a spirited vibe. I got chills.

Built in 1911, the design of the drop-dead gorgeous digs was inspired by Marie Antoinette’s Petit Trianon at Versailles. Sitting pretty on the edge of Parc Monseau, the Camondo is worth the trek. Let’s not forget to mention the classic black and white tile salle de bain with a view and hydronic heated towel warmers. C’est Magnifique. Yes, I am smitten.

Best assured—I’ve got the seasonal scoop. So do stay tuned! In the meantime, let’s get surreal at the “Dali” exhibition. Then we’ll crawl backwards to the Porte de Vanves Flea Market, and meet a few dolls from the 1950s. Pretty s’marvelous, I’d say. With the sun shining on our heads and shoulders, we’ll stop and smell the roses like there’s no tomorrow.

Carpe diem!

Clipping from Dalí, “There are some days when I think I’m going to die from an overdose of satisfaction!” 

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Dial “M” for Monsieur Dali!

Centre Pompidou

Mad about Charlie “Charlot” Chaplin at the Centre Pompidou (Dalí’s muse!)

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With its memory ever grateful, I’ll sing a Hymn to Love—Edith Piaf (Porte de Vanves)

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Padam! Padam!—Edith Piaf (Porte de Vanves)

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Mon Dieu! Laissez-le-moi, Encore un peu, Mon amoureux—Edith Piaf (Porte de Vanves)

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Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien!—Edith Piaf (À bientôt!)

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88 thoughts on “Paris Tête-à-Tête: Arts Update Teaser

    • You MUST return! I also discovered a slew of new beloved cafés and restaurants, along with snacks, of course! The “sandwich mixte” and chocolate chip cookie are beautiful, delectable, and oh, so portable. Perfect for hoofing around the city. YES. Stay tuned! And thanks for day tripping with us! T.

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  1. Keep up the excellent sleuthing…..the intimate details of a place are always the most interesting…..and that takes time on the ground to discover….. People often ask me why I spend so much time in one place…it’s because of whats not immediately apparent that always turns out to be the most interesting.

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    • MERCI. I’m with you. I loved your words about sleuthing and intimate details. I’ll never hang up my Nancy Drew cap. I thoroughly enjoy the digging and gathering. I don’t think I’ll ever grow tired of exploring and researching Paris. There’s so much history. Layers! It gives me such a high. It’s all about the process! T.

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    • 🙂 🙂 🙂 As always, thanks for your HAPPY, HAPPY words!! Your positive energy is contagious. YES. It gives me great pleasure to share little tips. I made great discoveries. Organizing my photographs and museum catalogs as I type this! T. (Enjoy the weekend!)

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    • MERCI. Oh, it was a real treat (luxury!) roam the streets non-stop for a few weeks. From sunrise to sunset, I walked and gawked and photographed. At the end of the day, my dogs (feet) were barking!! T. (It’s time to score a new pair of boots, I do believe.)

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    • Thank you!! The “Dalí” exhibition was huge and packed to the gills, of course. There’s also a Dalí museum in Montmartre. Perhaps you’ve been there? It’s a very cozy and surreal space with a gift shop, to boot. And there’s another Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida. I haven’t been there, but I’d love to visit one day. It looks fabulous!! T.

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    • Thanks!! I also fell in love with the floral lady vases. They’re so expressive, eh? I love their long eyelashes. Jealous, in fact. The Porte de Vanves dealer has been collecting them for years. She also has an incredible collection of vintage perfume bottles. Oui. Oui. Oui. I visit her flea market table often! T.

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  2. Is there a chance that we will be able to see a photograph of you with a new ‘do’ with freshly blunt bangs and a Nancy Drew investigative cap? I am intrigued.~Thea

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    • Thea, thanks for the giggle! I’ll work on the “portrait” project. This will be fun. By the way, I requested the classic “Bauhaus Bob” –lovingly showcased in Oskar Schlemmer’s “Bauhaus Stairway” (1932). I’ll dig up a photograph. It’s one of my favorite art works! T.

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    • MERCI. I also discovered and rediscovered magnificent parks, gardens and little squares. Stay tuned for more photographs of dolls, statues and mannequins-Oh, sigh. I’m hooked! T.

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  3. A wonderful collection! Strange and beautiful pictures in the immortal city… A delight 😉

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  4. How very, very lovely! I so enjoyed dashing about Paris with you. Oh to see the Dali exhibit! Once when we were in the Marche a man with an eclectic shop stepped out and looked just like Dali and was carrying a tray of champagne in the most wonderful flutes. I almost swooned, thinking I was in the presence of the master himself. I so would love to dine in the downstairs kitchen at the Musee Nissim de Camonodo………..sounds like a culinary dream and an intriguing. Lovely, just lovey Theadora! XXOO Tinny

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    • Oh, Tinny-Tin-Tin, I’ve missed you!! I loved your “Dalí” tale!! AND YES. You’d love the kitchen at the Musée Nissim de Camonodo. The rooms were fascinating to study. They were full of props and the family collection. Wonderful rich details through the “Downstairs” level: a dummy waiter, marble fruit in a bow, doorman gloves on a table, two bottles of red wine on the servants’ table, and an intricate (and early) hot water system. I plan to write a post about the house. I took beaucoup photographs! Apparently, the family was obsessed with Versailles.YES. I was smitten. I love, love historic houses. At one time, I worked at the Mount Clare Museum House in Baltimore. It was heaven! Big hugs, T.

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  5. Seeing your photos and hearing your stories is always the next best thing to being there. Some day, hopefully in the not too distant future, my wife and I will return and spend a few more lovely weeks in the City of Light . . . sigh.

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  6. How much fun are you having?!! I loved going along with you on this adventure. Très charmant et tellement amusant. Funny you should mention La Petit Trianon……. I had an adventure there.

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    • Merci, Lanier!! La Petit Trianon?! What timing. What perfect, gorgeous timing!! I’m off to visit your site. Throwing on glad rags now, along with my newly acquired scent: Charlotte by Annick Goutal. It’s a beauty. Coco. Powder. Black currants. It suits my “flapper” mood. Say, you’d love my new Annick Goutal expert. She’s been with the Goutal family for decades. Since the beginning, I do believe. Her shop is next to the Musée d’Orsay (Annick’s first studio). I’ll dig up her information for you. She’s FABULOUS. T.

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      • I’ll dig up the info for your next trip to Paris! T. (Whenever I mentioned her name in the other Annick Goutal boutiques, they gushed praises. She’s adored. She’s adored.)

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  7. A new hair style!! It sounds – dare I say this – very Louise Brooks – a red-headed Louise Brooks. “That’s all you got out of this fabulous post?”. “I know I should be swanning around Paris but I can’t get the picture of you out of my mind Theadora.” Virginia

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    • Louise Brooks!! YES. For the love of “Pandora’s Box” (1929), that’s exactly the look I asked for this time at the hair salon. Lulu! I haven’t seen the film in years. I should did it up this weekend. In fact, I did show the stylist a shot of Louise, along with old Marie France magazines from the sixties and Oskar Schlemmer’s “Bauhaus Stairway” (1932). I was prepared. A new hairdo and/or lipstick raises and spirits and elevates the mood every time! Like a charm. And yes, I also have a new red lipstick in my life. Make Up Forever’s Moulin Rouge. It’s a corker!! T. (Enjoy the weekend, Virginia!!)

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      • Theadora – the lovely Theadora. You have no idea what joy you bring to my life. Lipstick that’s a corker!! Lulu Lulu!!! Indeed. V.

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      • The feeling is oh-so-mutual, Virginia!! T. (The packaging is pretty darn terrific. There’s a tiny windmill on tube. It’s very sweet! Stays put for hours, yes. I picked up a few more just in case they discontinue the shade. Like Revlon’s “Cherries in the Snow,” It’s the perfect bright red. T.

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  8. I am sending your post to my friend Joanne in Omaha, who collects head vases. Always enjoy your photos.
    Makes me want to come and tour Paris!

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    • Thanks for spreading the word, Ruth! Porte de Vanves Flea Market dealer Madame Megalou has a wonderful collection of lady head vases, doesn’t she? How many does your friend have in her collection? Does she have a favorite decade? I’ll check my notes for a website address or an email address. T. (And as always, thanks for your kind words! I feel the same way about your eye-catching photography.)

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  9. Hey, T! Are we going to see pics of your new do? Your shots of the busts are mighty surrealistic and wonderfully alive. Never seen the lobster-phone in white – it adds another layer of humour. He was a class act, Salvador.

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    • Ah, thank you, Richard! Perhaps I’ll slip a “cameo shot” in a future post?! YES. I’m also a big time fan of Dalí. I love his collaborations with designer Elsa Schiaparelli. Witty. Naughty. Have you seen their “lobster” dress? Wallis Simpson wore it in the 1937 Cecil Beaton photographs for Vogue. Apparently, Dalí wanted add mayonnaise to the dress! I’ll dig up a link. It’s a great-looking dress. And Wallis looked lovely! T. (Enjoy the week!)

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  10. Ah, merci beaucoup pour ce poste, Mlle B.!

    Everything is so gorgeous, especially your image of the Tower at dusk–that should be enlarged and placed in a carved gilt frame–a very ‘subdued’, antique gilt! Tres charmant, those tiny ‘head vases’…how I love the long eyelashes (as I just bought new mascara yesterday to lengthen my own!)!!! Dali’s ‘lobster’ telephone…aaagh, such a monstrosity of the surreal genius, but genius is as genius does…I prefer his paintings, surely!

    This was such a fantastic tour, must’ve taken forever to put it together…yet, your absolute enjoyment shines through with every word! Would love to see the ‘new ‘do’…it’s that time of year, Le Printemps, oui?!?

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    • Ah, thank you! I never, ever get tired of shooting the Eiffel Tower. The sky looked like it was on fire. I love rooftop views. I have a few more up my sleeve. I won’t reveal locations, yet. But I will tell you this. The buildings are marvels. And the views are spectacular. Do you have a favorite rooftop view in Chicago?

      I dig your ancient “frame” idea. But what to do, what to do about the crane? Hello, loyal friend Photoshop?!

      I also love the floral vases. They caught my eye! The sun was out, so the Porte de Vanves Flea Market was packed. However, Madame Megalou was very kind and let me shoot for a good fifteen minutes. Her collection of beauty products is world-class. She was a doll!

      Now onto the important questions, are you happy with your mascara? What brand did you pick? Do spill!
      B.

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      • Oh, it’s just Maybelline Great Lash, nothing special, but I bought an eyelash curler, too! Time for these ‘old gal’ eyes to look fresh for Spring (waiting, so very patiently!)! I haven’t worn mascara is many years…the time is now!

        Watch your mailbox, s’il vous plait!

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      • YES. The eyelash curler is one of my favorite secret beauty weapons. Truth be bold and beautiful, it makes all the difference in the world! B.

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      • Have begun ‘removing the crane’…hopefully, I shall send it to you tomorrow, as the perfect gift for ‘Le printemps a Paris’!

        And I absolutely agree about the lash curler, Babs!!!

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      • Wow, Pal. ! I received the photograph. Again, thanks for taking time to remove our friendly crane. Perhaps, I’ll add it to the post?! I plan to start shopping for an ancient frame this weekend. MERCI. Lovely! B. (Enjoy your weekend shoots and adventures!)

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    • YES. And it was magnificent but very crowded. (Dear Centre Pompidou, add benches, please!!) I recommend going to see the exhibition during the week. Or going to his works at the Musée Dalí in Montmartre. What a character! T. (I also love the quote!)

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    • So true. Oh, no! For the love of Audrey Hepburn, Julie Andrews, and Eliza Doolittle, I’m now singing the jaunty “I could have danced all night” tune!! T.

      I could have danced all night!
      I could have danced all night!
      And still have begged for more.
      I could have spread my wings
      And done a thousand things I’ve never done before.

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  11. As always a great post. However, you need a more parisian reference for detective work than Nancy Drew… so I suggest Aimee Leduc – a detective in the wonderful Paris based series by Cara Black.

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    • OH, yes. I’m a fan. I loved Cara Black’s “Murder in the Marais” book. I’ll have to trap a few more. Perhaps “Murder in Montmartre” will be the next one. I also love her book covers. Thanks for push! T. (Confession: I’ve been channeling my inner-Nancy Drew since the age of eight or nine. Like nail biting, how to stop? Role-playing gives me courage, I’m afraid. WWNDD? Is what I always say! Wink.)

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  12. T, I’ve just come up from underground. As you know, I’ve been swamped with my new-soon-to-be-life in Istanbul! Yea! Paris will now be so much closer!!!–I’m sure to get there this year! My heart is aching to be at that Dali show stopper. And I am coveting those doll heads from the flea. What are they? vases?

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    • I know. I know! Istanbul! How very exciting. Anita, I’m in awe. You’re so organized. It’s been great fun and interesting following your preparation through your newsy posts. When do you leave? And goodness, YES. You’d fall madly for Dalí all over again at the Pompidou. You’ll have to visit the Musée Dalí in Montmartre. The Espace Dalí Montmartre is located at 11 Rue Poulbot in the 18th, near Sacré Coeur. Halle Saint Pierre (Outsider Art and Art Brut) is located nearby at 2 Rue Ronsard in the 18th arrondissement. The perfect spot for wine and quiche. There’s also a bookshop! T. (The doll heads are vases! Sweet, eh?!)

      Bon Voyage! And continue to keep us posted on your big adventure!
      T.

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  13. Every time I read your blog, I get a twitch to book a one-way to Paris. Luckily, your blog lets me explore my favorite city vicariously through your adventures. Excellent post (again). 🙂

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    • Get to “twitching,” I’d say. There are two fashion exhibitions currently shining in the city. Organized by the Musée Galliera, you’d love them. Stay tuned for the full reports. T. (As always, thanks. I loved the pics of your “passport” Vagabonds in snow!)

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  14. You keep outdoing yourself Theadora – another fab post – LOVE the lady vases!!! Would love to see your new “do”, sounds very French.

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    • Ah, you are too kind!! I could read your sweet words again and again. Wink. As always, thanks!! T. (And YES. I’m still enjoying the new bangs. For the love of time travel, I’ve been playing jazzy tunes from the 1920s non-stop. Maybe it’s time for a dance class?)

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    • Thank you! Thanks to the long, long lines at the Centre Pompidou, I was at the right place at the right time!! Sacré Coeur and the Musée d’Art Moderne re two other personal favorite spots for gazing up at the Eiffel Tower. The gazing never gets old! T. (Enjoy the week!)

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  15. Thanks for the little trip to Paris for my b’day (at least posted on that day, even though I’m a bit late.) That phone is amazing.

    Hope you’re doing well.

    janet

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    • Merci, Janet!! Say, I’m still thinking about your gorgeous birthday floral arrangement. Yes, it’s very much like a sculpture! I might try creating one of my own. It’s such a beauty! T. (And Bon Anniversaire!!)

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      • I love being able to use the blog to share the beauty of the arrangement with so many people! I moved it into the living room where I am more than the dining room, so I can enjoy it more often. If you create one, you know I’ll want to see a picture. If you want any close-ups for ideas, let me know–they’re just an email away.

        Enjoy your day!

        janet

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  16. I could see how dangerous those gorgeous head vases might become . . . how to choose one when they all look so pretty together! Another fab tour thank you Theodora. Your new hairdo sounds perfect!

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    • Thanks, Patti !! YES. I took photographs and then left the FLEA scene. I’m no home wrecker. Plus, they were out of my price range. Good thing ! I don’t need a new “collection” in my life. At least this week ! T.

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    • Ah, thanks ! Yes, she does resemble Edith Piaf. Ever since I spotted the little vase, I’ve been on the hunt for golden mascara and a little black cap ! T. (“Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien” has always been one of my favorite songs. The curator at the Musée Edith Piaf at 5, rue Crespin du Gast in the 11th arrondissment sometimes plays it on his record player while visitors gaze at the little sparrow’s dresses, pocketbooks, gloves, shoes, sheet music, and publicity posters. It’s a wonderful space !)

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  17. My head vase friend is away in Costa Rica but when she returns I will find out what decade and how many head vases she has.

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  18. Pingback: Nobody’s Business But The Turks | Art Teach Travel

    • YES. Plan a trip to Paris. Then museum and gallery hop ’til you drop. Theadora (I love your “Inside the Museum” work! Always interesting. Always thought-provoking.)

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      • I agree! I’ll create a mini-list for you. I highly recommend kicking-off your trip at Halle Saint Pierre, located at 2 Rue Ronsard in the 18th arrondissement. It’s very similar in spirit to Switzerland’s Collection de l’Art Brut, Chicago’s Intuit Center, and Baltimore’s American Visionary Art Museum. It features both contemporary and historic works by self-taught, visionary and outsider artists. The building was a 19th century food market. Plus, it has café with a view of Sacré Coeur and an fabulous bookshop. I love this place! T.

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