‘Lupin’ is the smash-hit series at the start of 2021. The new Netflix-produced French series, inspired by the books of Maurice Leblanc, has made the top 10 list of current series in most countries where it has been shown including Brazil, Germany, Spain and the United States!It has to be said that this story of a modern-day gentleman thief has everything to please: an impressive heist at the Louvre, lively and endearing characters and gorgeous picture postcard views of Paris. (Re) discover these places through this sensational series.
The Louvre is one of the main stars of the first episode. It is here that we meet Assane Diop, the thief with a big heart, played by Omar Sy, who has decided to steal the Queen’s necklace to avenge his father, wrongly accused of stealing it 25 years previously.The series is a fine tribute to the world’s most visited museum with sublime night shots of the illuminated Ieoh Ming Pei pyramid and a glimpse of the grand gallery where the Mona Lisa is on show. Even more captivating, the cameras also take viewers behind the scenes, to places like the service corridors or a mysterious hidden entrance to the Napoleon courtyard.
Like all productions for international viewers, Lupin couldn’t not include views of Sacré-Cœur, the famous basilica perched on the Butte Montmartre, and the entire city in general. Assane Diop can admire the basilica from the window of his flat, but also and especially, during a high-speed chase over the rooftops of Paris!
Did you know? Sacré-Cœur owes its immaculate white colour to the stone in which it was built: the limestone of Château-Landon becomes white with time and rain!
Paris would not be Paris without its distinctive zinc and slate rooftops. In fact, 70% of Parisian roofs are grey. This particularity stems from the urban planning of Baron Haussmann under Napoleon III. When the famous architect was rethinking the layout of the capital, he chose to cover the buildings and maids' attic rooms on the top floor with zinc roofs for economic and practical reasons. That choice which has so much defined the face of the city has led to an application being submitted for the Parisian roofs to be included on the Unesco World Heritage List! An essential image of the city both for its residents and admirers.
Well known to lovers of home decor, second-hand goods and antiques, the Saint-Ouen flea markets are spread across 7 hectares and are made up of 11 markets each with their own specialities. The shop of Assane’s best friend, Benjamin Ferel, can be found in the Marché (market) Biron, nicknamed the ‘Faubourg Saint-Honoré of the Puces’. So it's not surprising that this shop on two floors, one for classic purchases and the other for more discrete purchases, contains many treasures.
For his interview with Anne Pelligrini, the gentleman thief played by Omar Sy shrewdly chooses the Luxembourg Gardens. A public place that combines privacy and anonymity … and which seems to fit in with the character’s history. After a conversation opposite the large ornamental pond, he makes a clever escape in disguise into one of the many recesses of the park commissioned by Marie de Medici.
During a flashback to Assane Diop’s childhood – where he plays with his father – viewers can see one of the most beautiful fountains in Paris. The Fontaine de l’Observatoire, also known as the Fontaine des Quatre-Parties-du-Monde (the four parts of the world) is the work of artists Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, Emmanuel Frémier, Eugène Legrain and Louis Villeminot under the direction of the architect Gabriel Davioud. The fountain represents a globe decorated with the signs of the zodiac supported by four women. The base is decorated with sea horses.
Less frequented by tourists than previous locations, the areas around the town hall of the 3rd arrondissement and the Carreau du Temple are attractively portrayed during the heated encounter between the investigator Gabriel Dumont and Assane Diop. We get to see the inside of the town hall and its enigmatic basements, then the street Petit Square du Temple - Elie Wiesel, and especially the impressive glass roof of the Carreau du Temple. Now a cultural and sports venue for meetings and exhibitions, the building was originally a former covered market in the Enclos du Temple (the seat of the famous Knights Templar).
It was not the first time that the gentleman thief had been active in these high-class districts when he carried out his sleight of hand at the Louvre. A few years earlier, he had been seen in a luxurious apartment in the Rue de Rivoli, a few steps from the Place Vendôme. The street, which is 3 km long and which runs from Rue de Sévigné at Place de la Concorde is renowned for its elegance and majestic arcades on its west side. This is the location of the private residence where he coaxes a rich elderly lady to 'lend' him her jewellery and a Fabergé egg, which is then sold ... in his friend's shop at the Saint-Ouen flea market!
Paris can count 37 bridges over the Seine and 49 footbridges over the canals. These are spots where people go for walks and are part of the landscape and daily life of Parisians. Far from the character's extraordinary exploits, it is here that the more intimate moments of the life of Assane are revealed. We see him walking along the Pont des Arts (easily recognizable by its metallic structure opposite the Institut de France) and on a footbridge at the Port de l’Arsenal from which there is a view of the Colonne de Juillet illuminating the Place de la Bastille and his ex-wife.
Beyond the clichés, Lupin invites us to take a stroll through the streets of Paris, Parisian neighbourhoods where people go about their daily lives and which have a unique vibrancy, like the crossroads at Porte Saint Martin where he meets his ex-wife Claire for a coffee in a typical brasserie or when he goes back to his apartment under the rooftops …
Arsène Lupin the fictional character of Maurice Leblanc, who Assane so admires, also had some crazy adventures in Paris. He lived at 8 Rue Crevaux, in the 16th arrondissement - the building is now occupied by the Honduran Embassy and was, at one time, inhabited by the author - and he never missed an opportunity to explore the city. Arsène Lupin, Gentleman-Thief was first published in 1907. The Girl with the Green Eyes (1927), features Paris’s Grands Boulevards and in particular Boulevard Haussmann, The Mysterious Mansion (1929), the Palais Garnier opera house, and The Last Love of Arsène Lupin (1936), the Italian Embassy … All of which provide a wonderful playground for the man with many identities!