Visit of Laurent Fabius to Chicago
Mr. Laurent Fabius, French Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development made an official visit to Chicago from May 11-12 to promote the economic attractivity of France and participate in commercial, cultural and touristic exchanges. Mr. Fabius was accompanied by the Ambassador of France to the U.S. François Delattre.
This visit falls within the first-ever French Innovation Week in Chicago organized by a partnership of the Consulate general and the French-American Chamber of Commerce of Chicago..
On May 11, Mr. Fabius made a visit to the University of Chicago to present the Legion of Honor in the rank of Chevalier to Mr. Robert Morrissey, professor of French literature and executive director of the France-Chicago Center depuis 2001. Mr. Morrissey is also the director of the “French-American Project for Research on the Treasures of the French Language". Mr. Morrissey has published numerous works on the French history, literature and theater of the 17th and 19th centuries as well as the online edition of the Encyclopedia of Diderot and Alembert.
_During this time, the Minister met with University President Robert J. Zimmer on strengthening the cooperation between universities and the scientific community. Minister Fabius also met with professors, researches and students at the University. More than 100 guests attended the event.
|Mr. Fabius with Mr. Graham Paul, Consul General of France in Chicago and Professor James Cronin, who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1980 « for the discovery of the violation of a fundamental principle of symmetry during decay of neutral K-mesons ».|
|Mr. Fabius is interviewed by the University television station, Maroon TV.|
|Discussion with a group of students in the French Club of the University of Chicago and its president Eve Zuckerman (pictured).|
Read the article in the University newspaper The Maroon :
Professor honored in Napoleonic style
Professor Robert Morrissey was awarded the highest distinction given by the French government
Posted May 13, 2014 by Isaac Stein
Robert Morrissey, Benjamin Franklin professor of French literature at the University, was decorated with the Légion d’Honneur by the French government in a ceremony held at the Quadrangle Club on Sunday evening. The award was issued to Morrissey by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius (read more...)
Following his visit to the University of Chicago, the Minister attended a dinner with French economic leaders in the Midwest and representatives from Ubifrance/AFII and the Department of Science and Technology at the French Embassy in the U.S.->http://www.france-science.org/-Accueil-Francais-.html].
On May 12, Mr. Fabius met with executives of American companies at a breakfast event organized by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs for a discussion on the economic appeal of France and international investments, the ongoing reforms designed to reinforce the competitivity of the French economy, and the policies supporting innovation. Next, he visited the Thompson Center for a private meeting with Pat Quinn, Governor of the State of Illinois.
The meeting focused on strengthening commercial exchanges and cross-investments between France and Illinois, as well as the development of partnerships, notably in the environmental sector (water management, sustainable development), education (universities and large research laboratories) and transportation (high-speed rail).
The Minister then visited the Art Institute of Chicago where he was welcomed by Douglas Druick, President and Director of the museum, as well as by Curators Gloria Groom and Sylvain Bellenger. Their discussions were focused on cultural attractivity, a large museum like the Art Institute of Chicago being an excellent showcase for the French artistic heritage and a vector of cultural tourism for France._
During this visit, the Minister had the opportunity to rediscover a painting by Gustave Caillebotte "Rue de Paris, temps de pluie" that was recently restored and which will be unveiled to the public on May 19 along with the masterpiece by Georges Seurat "Un dimanche après-midi à l’Île de la Grande Jatte".
_The Art Institute has regularly, and for a long time, exhibited French artworks. In the late 1990’s, the museum hosted the largest Monet retrospective ever realized in the world.
The Art Institute has a long history of working with the Musée d’Orsay, with which many joint exhibitions have been organized, such as: “The Art of Paul Gauguin” (1988), “Gustave Caillebotte (1848-1894)” (1994), “From Cézanne to Picasso, masterpieces from the Vollard gallery” (2007), “Matisse: radical invention, 1913-1917” (2009), “Impressionism and Fashion” (2013). Moreover, the association “American Friends Musée d’Orsay” has its American office in Chicago. This organization’s mission is to promote the Orsay museums and the Orangerie and to support the life of the museums, in particular in taking opportunities to build a rapport with the United States.
The Art Institute has also organized, in partnership with the Grand Palais, the exhibition “France 1500, between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance” on Burgundian art in 2011.
Following his visit to the museum, the minister met with the editorial board of the Chicago Tribune to discuss major topics in foreign relations (Ukraine, Syrie, Iran, etc.)
Finally, to conclude his visit to Chicago before continuing on to Washington, Mr. Laurent Fabius attended a demonstration of self-parking car technology by the French company Valeo on the Merchandise Mart plaza in the presence of Françoise Colpron, President of Valeo North America, and Jean-François Tarrabia, Vice President R&D and Marketing, France.
The new Valeo innovation, Valet Park4U, transforms a vehicle into an automated valet. It allows drivers to leave their vehicle in any parking lot and let the car find a space to park itself. Drivers activate the fully automatic parking feature remotely using their smartphone. Similarly, they can use their smartphone to call their car to pick them up when they leave.
The onboard Valet Park4U system works thanks to ultrasonic sensors, cameras and unique laser scanner technology. The laser scanner allows the car to get its bearings in its environment by “scanning” what is around it. Cameras installed on the vehicle sends the driver an image on the screen of his or her smartphone. The view broadcast by the cameras allows the driver to see his vehicle at any time from a distance
Paris-based Valeo is an independent industrial Group fully focused on the design, production and sale of components, integrated systems and modules for the automotive industry, mainly for CO2 emissions reduction. Valeo ranks among the world’s top automotive suppliers. The Group has 124 plants, 20 research centers, 36 development centers, 12 distribution platforms and employs 75,300 people in 29 countries worldwide.
In North America (U.S. and Mexico), Valeo, headquartered in Troy, near Detroit, employs 10,000 people at 16 production sites and 7 R&D centers.