Architecture: Sunlight in Stone

The most dazzling new sight in Paris is—Paris. For decades, the face of the city was as grey as its ubiquitous cats. But since 1959, squads of yellow-slickered workmen have scrambled up metal scaffoldings to hose down and sand-rub buildings and monuments encrusted with the industrial soot of the 20th century. The grime fighters have now cleaned more than a third of Paris' buildings, and visitors to Paris are discovering a beauteous city they never saw before, the city that De Balzac called the color of cream.

Paris skies may still be grey,...

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