Galerie Meyer will exhibit Oceanic headrests for their contribution to the Tribal Parcours des Mondes, including this Sepik River example from Papua New Guinea.

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Twenty of the dealers are based in their own galleries. They'll be joined by 30 others who are renting space for the occasion, to create a tight-knit, mile-long trail between St-Germain-des-Prés and the Seine.

The Paris Parcours is based on Brussels' June event, BRUNEAF, and some dealers feel it has already surpassed BRUNEAF for quality and variety. After a slow start in 2002, with just 20 participants, the Parcours now features more participants than BRUNEAF (50 compared to 45) and attracts more foreign dealers (27 compared to 14).

This reflects Paris's burgeoning reputation as the world capital of tribal art - a status to be boosted further when a spanking new tribal art museum opens on Quai Branly, near the Eiffel Tower, in 2006.

"BRUNEAF needs to watch out," warns Paris Oceanic art dealer Jean-Edouard Carlier, who dropped out of BRUNEAF this year. "Since 2002 BRUNEAF has lacked spark," agrees Anthony Meyer, whose spectacular show of Oceanic headrests will feature a three-legged royal wooden headrest from Fiji with whale ivory inlay (priced at around €100,000) that he bought at an English country auction after spotting an advertisement in the Antiques Trade Gazette.

Compared to Brussels' historic focus on central Africa, Paris offers greater variety, as will be reflected by the presence of specialists in Asian art (eight), Oceanic Art (six) and American art (Chistopher Selser of Santa Fe and Galerie Mermoz of Paris - one of three dealers taking part in both the Parcours and Biennale). A third of all Parcours exhibitors will be showing works of art from more than one continent.

The Parcours' increasing clout is reflected in the decision of top dealer Alain de Monbrison to pull out of this year's Paris Biennale - a decision Christian Deydier has called "shameful". De Monbrison says he does not have enough stock to do both events, and prefers his airy gallery to the underground Carrousel.