Thursday, August 21, 2008

Set in Stone

There's lots of stone carving to be found on the buildings in Paris, garlands of flowers, chubby cherubs, cornucopias of fruit, and faces atop doors and windows. The latter usually bring to mind Greek and Roman gods and goddeses, like Zeus or Diana of the hunt. I spotted these two aviators side by side atop the windows on a building on Boulevard Delessert, just a stone's throw from the Trocadero gardens. At first, I thought it was the same person with goggles up and down until I noticed the mustache on the one on the right.

Their origins remain obscure despite my best efforts at sleuthing. I did stumble upon some information about a 1919 assassination attempt on French president George Clemenceau (during the Versailles peace talks) that took place not too far from there. This particular memoir mentions an officer from the nearby "Aviation Headquarters" on Boulevard Delessert who sprang into action on the scene. But perhaps it's just a coincidence. In any case, I like the style of these early aviators; the enigma of their origin only adds to their interest.

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