la commune.

May 1871, Paris is in ruins after la commune and its 600 barricades have been destroyed by the soldiers of the National Assembly in Versailles. According to Norman Barth's short piece, "Versailles admitted to 17,000 fatalities among the defenders of Paris. Other estimates are as high as 30,000. Losses to the Versailles side are put at about 1000, with 6,500 wounded. All of this within a week, while during the French Revolution, and Terror, 19,000 died in nearly a year an a half."

Meanwhile, Thomas Cook was busy organising package tours for English tourists wanting to contemplate the city's ruins. Yes, really.

Hippolyte Blancard, a pharmicist and amateur photographer rigorously documented the city during this period. La Bibliothèque historique de la Ville de Paris recovered the negatives and the images that have never been published in the public press are currently being exhibited. Unbelievable extended pause of gutted landmarks. Can I say stunning again? Stunning ++ ? I'm losing my vocabulary out here.



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