Whatever was going on with clashing viewpoints and egos among the bigwigs at the diplomatic beehive known as the U.N., well, that was their problem. What was going on with the American Friends of Versailles, meeting in New York for a week of cultural events, was all sweetness and light. In this organization, nobody bickers. Everyone has the same goal — united in the belief that beauty is truth and truth is beauty.
As the name implies, the purpose of A.F.V. is the restoration of the most beautiful palace in the world, specifically the once-glorious, now almost-glorious Trois Fontaines Bosquet, a masterpiece of fountains in the château’s vast gardens designed by the illustrious architect, Andre Le Notre, in 1677 at the behest of Louis XIV. Since 1830, the bosquet and fountain have been lost to the world, ruins. Not anymore. In June of 2004, there will be a grand celebration and ball at Versailles to mark the unveiling of the magnificent project, a gift from the Friends to France and the world.
It is being called “the most magnificent ball of the 21st century,” and its honored guests are Mrs. Laura Bush and Madame Jacques Chirac. Among the honorary chairmen of the grand affair are Nancy and Henry Kissinger, and the honorary co-chairmen include such generous Americans as Cecile and Ezra Zilkha, Kimberly and Steven Rockefeller (the guests of honor at a party at Cartier), Anne Bass, Lee Radziwill, C.Z. Guest, Anne Cox Chambers and Liz Fondaras. The American committee members include truly prestigious types. Among the French elite are the Princess Napoleon, Maryll and Bernard Lanvin, Marivon and François Pinault, the Baroness Elie De Rothschild, Princess Maria Pia de Savoie (recently married to Prince Michel de Bourbon Parme), Count and Countess de Ribes, the Duke and Duchess de Mouchy, Sandy and Jean de Yturbe and Nicole Salinger.