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West Bund Museum with French secrets


“Daddy, why is french fries French?” Pangzi asked one day.

“Let me tell you a secret only a few know,” I whispered, “but you must first follow me to Centre Pompidou.”

“Where’s this… Pom Pi Pi?”

“Down by the Huangpu River. It’s a newly opened French contemporary art gallery in Shanghai. They’ve given Centre Pompidou a local name: West Bund Museum,” I explained.

“Oh, why is this West Bund Museum copying French?”

“Shhh, it’s the big secret! All the great inventions are French. Must copy,” I continued.

“What has the French invented?” Pangzi asked, intrigued.

“Everything. What’s the world’s favourite type of dog?”

“I know, I know – French poodle.”

“Right. The French invented it. What do couples like to do most?”

“I know, I know – French kiss.”

“Right. The French started it. What’s Hitler most famous for?”

“Errrr, killing people?”

“Okay, that and his moustache. He copied the French men. What’s the world’s most popular form of transport?”

“The bullet train?”

“Train your head. The French invented the bicycle. What’s the world’s best drug?”

“Penicillin?”

“That’s Scottish. It’s actually tobacco. The French invented the cigarette.”

“My teacher says smoking is bad!” Pangzi protested.

“Is the French kiss also bad then?”

“Dunno, never tried,” Pangzi wondered.

“One day you will… and you might like it.”

“Are you saying one day I should try smoking too?” he exclaimed. “Anyway why are we here at West Bund Museum?”

“Ahhh, this is why. Reclining Nude Woman,” I revealed.

“I know, I know – Picasso. But daddy, why is it here at West Bund Museum?”

“That’s the biggest secret. Picasso is French,” I declared.

“My teacher says he’s Spanish!”

“Same, same. Anyway this is part of The Shape of Time exhibition, ongoing at West Bund Museum till mid 2021.”

“Daddy, do you know the local pork ribs soup is also inspired by the French?

“Oh, is that so?” I said.

“Yes, bak kut teh is copied from baguette!”

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