Tuesday, 13 March 2012
The Jardin Majorelle, Marrakech
Paul and I recently spent a weekend in Marrakech to celebrate our 27th anniversary. We were well looked after by Tania and Zakaria, the owners of the Riad Libitibito (http://www.riad-libitibito.com/ - they deserve a plug for being so helpful and welcoming).
I hadn't realised that there was a connection in Marrakech to another, far more prominent gay couple. In 1980, Yves St Laurent and his former life (and long time business) partner, Pierre Bergé, bought the Jardin Majorelle and restored it. Their home in Marrakech, Oasis Villa, was nearby.
The gardens were originally designed by Jacques Majorelle, a expatriate French artist, in the 1920s and 1930s. They have been open to the public since 1947. The vivid blue used throughout the 12 acre site is referred to a bleu Majorelle, after the artist.
A few days before St Laurent died in 2008, he and Bergé were joined in a same-sex civil union known as a Pacte civil de solidarité (PACS) in France. St Laurent spent a great deal of time at the garden duing life and his ashes were scattered there after his death. There is also a memorial to him in a quiet corner of the garden.
The garden also houses the Musée Berbère, whose collection includes North African textiles from St Laurent's personal collection, as well as ceramics, jewelry, and paintings by Majorelle.
My photos of the Jardin Majorelle are online at: