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Paris Arts and Culture

Paris Arts and Culture

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If you set your sights on thoroughly exploring Paris's arts and culture scenes, you would have to schedule a year away. There is not enough time on any itinerary to do justice to the astounding abundance of galleries, museums, and architecture that confetti this stunning city.

The Pere Lachaise Cemetery (Boulevard de Menilmontant, Metro: Pere Lachaise), is the final resting place for a veritable "who's who" of France. Both beautiful and serene, what really makes Pere Lachaise unique is the emotional and reverential crowd that visits the graves. Oscar Wilde 's tomb, erected by an admirer, is remarkable for its etched deco design and moving tribute on the back. Note the lipstick stains left by adoring fans who have kissed the stone in his memory. Be sure not to miss the side-by-side graves of powerhouse lesbian literary couple Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas .

Housed in a 17th-century hotel, the Musee National Picasso Paris (5 Rue Thorigny; +33-1-42-71-88-18; Musee-Picasso.fr) boasts several thousand of the artist's works, as well as his personal art collection, and art by Cezanne and Matisse.

The Louvre (Palais-Royale; +33-1-40-20-50-50; Louvre.fr) deserves the hype. The country's preeminent art collection is home to an incredible array of 35,000 works, from the enigmatic Mona Lisa to Venus de Milo to Islamic art and Egyptian antiquities.

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