French envoy lauds ‘Nuit Blanche’ held at Presidential Office

France's top diplomat in Taiwan and some 5,000 people visited the Presidential Office on Saturday evening to enjoy a night-time arts festival popularized in France called a Nuit Blanche.

Benoit Guidee, director of the French Office in Taipei, said Taipei is the first city to open its Presidential Office to the public for a Nuit Blanche.

More than two dozen public facilities, including the National Taiwan Museum, the North Gate and the Taipei Post Office, were opened to the public from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., and over 50 artworks and performances were presented in western Taipei from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. Sunday.

Though the event has been held in France for 15 years and is attended by some 2 million people every year, the Elysee Palace has never been opened to the public for the Nuit Blanche, Guidee said.

A clown and three comedians wearing animal head masks performed a short silent skit in the Presidential Office's courtyard, attracting the attention of many children.

Anne Talineau, deputy general manager of The Institut Francais, a French public organization promoting French culture around the world, said she saw many people take part in activities of the Nuit Blanche and felt it was a wondrous night.

French director Matthieu Roy was also present.

More than 5,000 people visited the Presidential Office during the evening, according to Presidential Office statistics.

Source: Overseas Community Affairs Council