Paris Gala Celebrates Reopening of Iconic Lutetia Hotel
The French Friends of Tel Aviv University held a highly successful gala dinner at the spectacular Lutetia Hotel in Paris. Mr. Bruno Le Maire, French Minister of Economy and Finance, who recently visited TAU with a French delegation, was the guest of honor at the event.
During the event, Mr. Le Maire was presented with the President’s Award by TAU President Joseph Klafter recognizing his pivotal role in enhancing Israeli-French relations, his efforts to combat anti-Semitism and racism in France and his valued support of TAU’s French Friends Association over many years.
Sponsored by Israeli philanthropist, financier and real estate developer Alfred Akirov, a TAU Governor and Honorary Doctor, the event marked the pre-opening of the historic Lutetia Hotel. Its past was shadowed by the Nazi occupation during WWII, when the hotel was requisitioned by the occupation forces. Originally opened in 1910, the hotel closed its doors in 2014 and was then entrusted to architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte for the restoration of this legendary Paris landmark.
Additional dinner participants were President of the French Friends Prof. François Heilbronn; Nobel laureate Claude Cohen-Tannoudji; Prof. Jean-Michel Wilmotte; Jean Robert Pitte of the Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques; Former Minister of Justice Dominique Perben; TAU Vice President for Resource Development Amos Elad; as well as Israeli business people, French supporters and friends.
In his address, Prof. Klafter noted Tel Aviv University’s growing international links with world institutions that provide a channel for sharing Israeli scientific and technological excellence, at a time when various groups are attempting to isolate Israel.
French Friends President Prof. François Heilbronn highlighted the dynamic relations between France and Israel in the scientific, cultural, and academic spheres, stressing the academic ties between TAU and French institutions such as Sciences Po, the Sorbonne and École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, among others.