Here comes that pesky Versailles again, popping up places it simply shouldn't be. Today's culprit: a Paris commuter train. Slathered on the walls, windows, and ceilings of a few cars of the RER C, the line that goes to actual Château de Versailles, are 2-D renderings of the famously decadent palace. Recreations of the chateau, including its Hall of Mirrors and formal gardens, are all a marketing scheme plotted by the Palace of Versailles and the French railway company. It's not the first time a brand has used trains for a publicity—though, admittedly, this train's Rococo feel is eons away from the flower-power vibe Ikea infused into its locomotive—but it may be the first train to attempt anything as grandiose as the belvedere of Marie Antoinette or the library of Louis XVI.
Generally speaking, Versailles replicas are ill-advised and tend to flounder, and painfully, when tested on the real estate market. And in this case, commuter trains have natural spacial limits that simply cannot be found in, say, America's most famous Versailles lookalike. That said: something that makes one's ride to work a bit more fun? No complaints.
· Train Carriages Replicate the Halls of Versailles [PSFK]
· A Look Back at Ikea's Old Train-Car Interiors in Japan [Curbed National]
· Another Mock 'Versailles' to Meet Unfortunate Auction Fate [Curbed National]