With the upcoming Mechanoid Elephant performance in London of â€˜The Sultan’s Elephant’ by Royal de Luxe, I was reminded of the work of Charles Ribart. In 1758, he planned an addition to the Champs-Ã‰lysÃ©es in Paris, to be constructed where the Arc de Triomphe now stands. It consisted of three levels, to be built in the shape of an elephant, with entry via a spiral staircase in the underbelly. The building was to have a form of air conditioning, and furniture that folded into the walls. A drainage system was to be incorporated into the elephant’s trunk. The French Government, however, was not amused and turned him down. What a shame!