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From Bendor archives

Nul bien sans peine

Here is an excerpt of the first movie Paul Ricard directed on the island, and in which he tells about his vision.
The title of this movie is quite self-explanatory : “Nul bien sans peine” (which roughly translates in “Nothing comes for free”)

Bendor island

Situated along France’s Côte d’Azur, Île de Bendor is a unique island that stands as a monument to a man, his vision, and the industry to which he devoted his life. On this private island Paul Ricard erected a museum in 1958 dedicated to housing a “complete and permanent encyclopaedia” of wine and spirits, Exposition Universelle des Vins et Spiritueux.

Merely a chunck of rock emerging from the sea when Paul Ricard bought it in 1950, the île de Bendor was, within 4 years, leveled, widened and turned into a visionary housing and working complex.
Villas for the company employees, a hotel, a diving school, and France’s first color movie studio were built here to create what Paul Ricard would describe as a perfect and stimulating environment.

The EUVS building itself testifies to the influence that wine and spirits have on the fine arts. The statues of Bacchus and Vigne which guard the entry to EUVS were carved by the famed Provençale artist Louis Botinelly (1883-1962). The ceramics which decorate the façade were executed out by Mirielle Ginard and Henri Couve.

In the interior of EUVS, frescos executed by three notable artists and nine art students illustrate the history of the wines and spirits through the centuries. The illustrator George Potier (born in 1929) painted “The Secret of Making Anise” and also created the first EUVS logo of the EUVS.

“The Warriors’ Wine” was executed by Milanese artist Gianni Bursamolino (born in 1928), who had been invited to worked in France by Paul Ricard and Pablo Picasso in 1956. The following year, he worked with Paul Ricard, to launch an art competition that gathered young students to create the other frescos in EUVS. (His works were later exhibited in the Gallery on Île de Bendor next to Salvador Dali’s “Tunafishing”, his largest work, painted on the island between 1966 and 1967.)

Approximately 500 square meters were devoted to the student competition winners. Among the young artists involved in this project—aged between 17 and 22 years—were Raymond Hurtu (born 1935) of Nancy, Danièle Bonnet of Avignon, Roger Remy of Rouen, Albert Martin d’Aix-en-Provence, Michele Dolfi-Mabily of Toulon, Michael Martin of Angers, Alain Bailhache (born1937) and D’Orvale of the National School of Decorative Arts in Paris. At the time of the inauguration of EUVS, three of these young talents receive an additional Jury Prize for their work. Hurtu received 100,000 francs for “The New Wine”, Bonnet and Remy accepted 50,000 francs for their frescos.

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