The drama that accompanied its unveiling was equal to its surroundings. According to a contemporary account from the New York Times: "The great crystal chandelier that hangs from the center of the ceiling was unlit as the audience entered, keeping the painting in the shadows. Then, after a festive procession of the entire corps de ballet to the the front of the stage, the chandelier and other ceiling lights burst aglow and the circular dome came to life with the intense color of its new crown."
The contrast between the Beaux-Arts style of the opera house and the modernism of Chagall is, we think, quite stunning -- but the ceiling remains controversial to this day as "completely out of harmony" with the Palais Garnier.
- Paris Opera