The French Président de la République is probably the most monarchic head of state in any democratic constitution; it is customary that, once in his reign, he treats himself with a grand construction. The said construction is usually located in Paris, much advertised for, and preferably ugly (although François Mitterrand's Grand Louvre and Grande Bibliothèque are exceptions to that rule). This year, Jacques Chirac has offered Paris, and the amazed world, a museum of exotic art. I know I am not supposed to call it that; I know that it is all about anthropological science and respectful curiosity. But whatever the brochures might say, the spiritual father of the Musée du Quai Branly is not Claude Lévi-Strauss; it would rather be Guillaume Apollinaire, the poet who launched the "Art Nègre" fad in early twentieth-century Paris.

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