The Gabriel Staircase, at the entrance to the Grand Apartments at the Château de Versailles, was designed by Ange-Jacques Gabriel in 1772 after the Petit Trianon and the Royal Opera at the palace. Completion of the staircase was delayed from the Revolution – until 1985 – and the monumental space gained a contemporary focal point in 2013.
“The secret of life is to have a task, something you devote your entire life to, something you bring everything to, every minute of the day for the rest of your life. And the most important thing is, it must be something you cannot possibly do.”
Maurizio Cattelan’s installation of La Nona Ora (The Ninth Hour) is a life-sized effigy of Pope John Paul II struck down by a meteor. First exhibited in 1999 at the Kunsthalle Basel, La Nona Ora was featured at the Royal Academy in London in 2000, and also at the Zacheta Gallery of Contemporary Art in Warsaw. Christie’s sold the piece in 2001 for $886,000, and a second version was auctioned by Phillips, de Pury & Company in 2004 for $3 million.