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Concierge service in the city of art

By Mathew Scott (China Daily)

13:43, June 04, 2013

Domolna de Brantes is art conclerge at Le Royal Monceau, Raffles Parls. (China Daily)

"There is but one Paris," said Vincent van Gogh, and the Dutch master artist was but one of countless millions of visitors who have over the centuries been drawn by art to the French capital.

From museums such as the Louvre to the contemporary galleries which line the streets of such districts as Montmartre, the city is an art-lover's paradise but one which can intimidate at the same time, such is the depth of choice available.

This is especially the case when it comes to buying art in Paris, increasingly an option for the estimated more than 700,000 Chinese who make a pilgrimage to the city each year, as they travel there from a nation which now accounts for more than 40 percent of the world's art purchases each year, according to art industry trackers Artprice.

And as demand for art in Paris has increased so has the supply of services tailor-made to suit the needs of the modern visiting art connoisseur, with the likes of multi-lingual guides in museums and galleries becoming a must and even the most specific requirement now being attended to, from private gallery tour to a meeting with the artist. "Art is at the heart of Paris," says Domoina de Brantes, who serves as the "art concierge" at Le Royal Monceau, Raffles Paris, offering what the hotel claims is the first such service in the city.

With a master's degree in the conception and production of cultural projects from the famed Sorbonne, De Brantes oversees exhibits at the hotel's Art District gallery and says "art tourists" in Paris are now also looking for services that are a little more personalized.

"I meet the client, I make sure I understand their specific requests," explains De Brantes. "If they want something like Chinese contemporary art then I research where in Paris we can get exactly want they want so the work is done for them. Plus with my contacts I can set up visits to galleries or I can go with them and take them on a private tour."

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