You may be wondering if the title to this piece is a clever play on words, or contains a hidden second meaning. It doesn’t. Paris actually does have some really great walls, that I’m 99% sure you’ll find interesting. Intrigued? Bemused? Doubtful? Keep reading…
Le mur des Je t’aime
(The ‘I love You’ Wall)
Tucked away in Montmartre, in the small Jehan Rictus square (metro Abbesses) you’ll find a mural designed by Fédéric Baron and Claire Kito in 2000. The mural is made with dark blue enamel tiles, and is covered in 311 dedications to love in 250 different languages and dialects.
The square – which was named after Gabriel Randon de Saint-Amand (alias Jehan Rictus) an artist from the Montmartre district – has now become a meeting point for lovers all over the world. It’s a nice place to take a break when visiting the area, especially if you’ve got someone to hold your hand and read the declarations with!
(The Man Who Walked through Walls)
“Le Passe-muraille” was originally a novel by Marcel Aymé, published in 1943, about a man (Monsieur Dutilleul) with the ability to travel through walls…but who ends up getting stuck! There is now a sculpture of the unfortunate Dutilleul trying to escape from his wall in the place Marcel Aymé, Montmartre, just off from Rue Norvins.
It’s a great spot to go past on a tour of the area and, who knows, maybe you’ll be able to pull the poor guy out!
Let’s leave Montmartre now, and go down the hill, where you’ll find Le M.U.R, a contemporary urban art spot in the 11th arrondissement. It’s not just a wall with graffiti on, it’s the place where Paris’ street art movement first started in spring 2000, when artists hijacked an advertising billboard and, after many disagreements, the town hall eventually sanctioned it as an free contemporary art space.
Every two weeks the art on the wall changes, giving it a particularly exciting, ephemeral nature. It’s especially fun to watch the artist himself at work: you feel as if you are part of the process. The café next door is the best place to settle in for a couple of hours and watch Le MUR take on new designs.