You may not know the name Marie Duplessis, but odds are you know some stories about her. She inspired a French novel, which was turned into a successful play, several movies (including one starring Greta Garbo), a ballet and, most famously, a great Italian opera — La Traviata.
To say that Nashvillean Spencer Hays is crazy for French art is an understatement. "French art just quickens our step, fires our spirit and touches our heart," he says.
Hays' passion began when he was in his 30s. By then he was already a millionaire; Forbes estimated his worth at $400 million in 1997, money earned from book-selling and clothing businesses. Hays had humble beginnings.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Parisians are known for turning up their noses, especially at tourists. Now the city is looking to show a little love. A new campaign is distributing 30,000 pamphlets called "Do You Speak Touriste?" The pamphlet lets Parisians know that Italians like handshakes, Chinese respond to a smile and a hello in Chinese. And Americans, the pamphlet says, well, we like to feel the prices are fair. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.