Death of a princess – the hotel linked to the tragedy

October 6, 2011

IT was an event that rocked the world.

One of the last official photographs of Diana

On August 30 and 31, 1997, a visit by Diana – Princess of Wales, to the Ritz Hotel in Paris was to prove a factor in events leading to the horrific car crash in the Pont de l’Alma underpass near the Eiffel Tower that resulted in her death.

Olga Leleka looks at her death and the hotel where the tragic chain of events began.

The evening began normally enough, a 36-year-old woman on a dinner date at Paris’ Ritz Hotel.

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Dali. The man, the mystery…and his favorite hotel

September 23, 2011

SPANISH genius and eccentric enigma. Salvador Dali earned fame as a painter, photographer and even film-maker, yet he is still recognized as one of the most ambiguous personalities of the 20th century.

Olga Leleka looks at the man, his love of Paris and the hotel he called home in the French Capital.

Salvador Dali in 1954

The world would never have recognized the scale of Dali’s talent and flamboyance if the famous painter wasn’t preoccupied with his passions for art, women and Paris.

He first became acquainted with Paris in 1926 when a young visited the city with his family. Captured by the beauty of the “City of Light”, the young fellow discovered a workshop held by Pablo Picasso.

Inspired by the master, Dali used to spend hours learning to paint in Picasso’s style. His attempts to emulate Picasso would instill in him a lifelong passion for art.

On his return to Madrid, Salvador Dali would forget about Paris for the next three years and become a part of forward-thinking intellectual life of Spain – challenging the backwardness of the political system and the Catholic Church of Spain and its beliefs that were out-of-step with contemporary thought.

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