August 21, 2010


There is nothing new under the sun. If you think that you did a great discovery, think twice, or rather, do some investigation. Your discovery has been at large for a long time, for sure.

Last year, I visited the Église St. Eustache in Paris. It has been witness of the most significant christenings, marriages and funerals. For me, the most interesting part of visiting it -- after being in Paris already some times -- was to see the church were Cosette married Marius.

My singerie in the Église St. Eustache, Paris

After my visit, I was very proud of having discovered a writing monkey on the pulpit. I was surprised, since the piece was much older than the Darwinian theories on evolution. A real puzzle that kept me surprised all this time.

But, of course, I did not invented the old concept of "singerie", French for "monkey trick". Ancient Egypt and Middle Ages artists were depicting monkeys doing human activities. Even Boulle, the most famous French furniture designer, the fave of Louis XIV has his singeries. A classical in the art world...

Thinking about it, the popular chimp zoo and TV shows are nothing but the modern version of what I thought to had discovered in St. Eustache.

(The specialist in the art related to Darwin is one of the editors of the FAZ and Max Planck Institute researcher, Julia Voss.)

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