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Four Hundred Years of French Presence in Louisiana: Treasures From the National Library of France

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As New Orleans' 300th anniversary gradually sneaks up on us -- it's only a decade away -- we tend to forget that the French have been in Louisiana even longer. This expo at the Historic New Orleans Collection explores our four-century-old relationship through maps, drawings, artifacts, rare books and relics from France's massive Bibliotheque Nationale, or National Library, in Paris. In addition to the official history we might expect, there are also spicier souvenirs of Louisiana's contributions, including posters advertising New Orleans expatriate jazzman Sidney Bechet's Paris concerts as well as French productions of plays by Tennessee Williams. This rich transatlantic cultural legacy is further explored through a special series of concerts and lectures. -- D. Eric Bookhardt

Through June 2

Historic New Orleans Collection, 533 Royal St., 523-4662; www.hnoc.org

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