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Ephemeral street art in Paris

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Ephemeral street art in Paris

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It’s being described as a veritable open-air museum.

A ten-storey building in a low-income housing district of eastern Paris has been temporarily given a new lease of life.

“Tour Paris 13” is the brainchild of artist Mehdi Ben Cheikh. He invited street artists from all over the world to decorate every nook and cranny of the building, inside and out, from its 36 flats all the way down to the basement.

But if you want to visit, you had better be quick: the building is due to be demolished in November.

“I looked through the windows and I saw some empty flats. And I said to myself, why not do the inside of the building? That’s what needs doing,” said Mehdi Ben Cheikh.

“Tour Paris 13” – named after Paris’ 13th district where it is located – is the biggest-ever street art collective. It includes works by more than 80 artists from 16 different countries including Chile, Tunisia, Poland and Saudi Arabia.

It took them seven months to complete the work, using everything they could find including books, chairs and even teddy bears that used to belong to residents.

“In Portugal, there is still much that needs to be demystified, about urban art, street art and graffiti. I think this type of project helps open up doors and minds,” said Portuguese street artist Lara Seixo Rodrigues.

The ephemeral exhibition is free and open to the public until October 31st. For those who don’t make it, it will remain virtually accessible on the collective’s webpage.

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