Arts and sports champions

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This Sunday ended the 109th edition of the tours from France, with the emergence of a new popular idol and the coronation of the Danish cyclist Jonas Vingegaard. Random coincidences, this tour had its beginning in Denmark, because for some years, the organizers of this cycling contest decided to extend its area to other European countries. In this competition, now international, sprinters from all over the planet participate. Thus, Italian, Spanish, English, American, Colombian champions have been revealed, young heroes with whom the people feel united because they recognize themselves in them.

At 25 years old, Vingegaard offers the crown to Denmark, his country of origin, where the celebrations in his honor will not be long in coming. A southern country in Northern Europe, its inhabitants emanate the typical warmth of southern nations. I was lucky enough to feel that human warmth since my arrival in Paris in 1975. It was in the lithography workshop Clot, Georges and Bramsen, directed at that time by a Danish giant: Peter Bramsen, who moved the old atelier where the Impressionists worked, then located on the Cherche-Midi street, to the Vieille du temple in the Marais district. I can say that I found a real family with the Bramsens, Peter and his wife Ingrid. They must have adopted me, in large part, thanks to Francisco Toledo, the first Mexican artist to chisel on stone blocks the drawings for the lithographs printed in that workshop. Other Mexican painters would come to work with Bramsen. In that mythical atelier I met Roland Topor, Juan Soriano, already a legend at the time, Antonio Saura, Wilfredo Lam, Roberto Matta, among other great artists of the 20th century.

The atmosphere in the workshop was friendly and festive. Around noon, Peter was yelling from his doorstep to the butcher shop across the street, requesting they send him bulky steaks he cooked for artists and laborers. Diners, their appetites whetted for culinary aromas, gathered around a long table set against one wall from which hung a view of a tall ship. Bramsen ran the shop like a captain his ship. Antonio Saura wrote a wonderful story about Captain Nemo Bramsen and his crew of painters. From a boating town, Peter owned a sailboat that he sailed all the way to Mexico. A few years ago, one of those unpredictable jolts of the wind, sudden and violent as a hurricane hug, crashed his sailboat against a rock. I was widowedtold me about the desolation of the Inconsolable by Gerard de Nerval.

Some time ago, to rectify a slanderous rumor about the origins of my crocodile, the ferocious mascot of the atelier, I narrated its adventures in the first and only text I have written in French. After a long wandering through the streets of Paris, my beautiful and vagabond animal found asylum next to the stained glass window that serves as the vault of the workshop, from where it watches with its falsely sleepy gaze the work of the artists that, like time, savors before to devour gluttonously.

For a long time, Toledo, when he still climbed on a plane, came to visit Bramsen with friendly fidelity. At Peter’s house, she met a friend of Ingrid’s, a Danish creator of textile art. The marriage between Francisco and Trini sealed the endearing union between Mexico and Denmark.

The Sunday that closes the tours of France 2022, a double spectacle was enjoyed: the arrival through Rivoli street to the Champs-Elysées, where the traditional tours And where did the first start? tours of France women in the heart of Paris, a few hours before seeing in those same places the final and devilish competition between the male athletes known as sprinters.

The show will continue with the cyclists who will go around France to continue offering the vision of its landscapes, its monuments and its history.

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