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Paris: the Serge Gainsbourg guide

July 2010

 Page 1 of 1
As a new biopic celebrates the life of Serge Gainsbourg, the enfant terrible of Gallic pop, Lauren Cochrane explores the French icon's old Paris haunts
Serge Gainsbourg in his Paris apartment
Helene Bamberger/Gamma/Camera Press London

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55 Avenue Bugeaud
When he was still Lucien Ginsburg, Gainsbourg grew up here with his Russian émigré parents and sisters Liliane and Jacqueline. The now very elegant 16th arrondissement is an insight into Gainsbourg's early life.
Ecole des Beaux-Arts

14 rue Bonaparte,
Gainsbourg was an art student before he was a singer and attended the Ecole des Beaux-Arts (other alumni include Degas and Monet). It's opposite the Louvre and has regular exhibitions.
3 rue Royale,
A Parisian institution open since the 1890s. Gainsbourg used to spend New Year's Eve here, often stealing ashtrays for mementos. The Art Nouveau interior is magnificent.

Ritz Paris
15 Place Vendome,
The bar at The Ritz was one of Gainsbourg's favourite places to drink cocktails. Take a seat at the Bar Vendôme and raise a glass in tribute. There's an impressive cocktail menu still in place.
Le Regines
49-51 rue de Ponthieu,
Club owner Regine was implicated in Gainsbourg's affair with Brigitte Bardot - the lovers would hide in the kitchen above the club. Although the original venue is no longer here, the second Regine's was restored in 2003 and features the hippest names in Paris club life.
13 rue des Beaux Arts,
The first home in Paris to belong to Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin, L'Hotel was also where Oscar Wilde died. Restored by Jacques Garcia in 2008, handwritten notes by the writer are displayed and there's artwork by Jean Cocteau.

5 rue de Verneuil
The house that Gainsbourg lived in for the majority of his life. After he died here the apartment was covered with messages to the great man. It has been kept exactly as it was and there are plans for a museum.

Montparnasse Cemetery
Boulevard Edgar Quinet
Gainsbourg is buried here along with other auspicious names - Brancusi, Samuel Beckett, Jean Seberg and Jean-Paul Sartre. A roll call of Paris's gone-but-not-forgotten.

Posted by Lauren Cochrane



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