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Postcards from Lyon: Rives de Saône

Postcards from Lyon: Rives de Saône
By Seamus Kearney

This week in Postcards from Lyon, the beautification of the space beside the French city’s two major rivers.

One of the projects is a long promenade of nature and culture along the Saône river.

Euronews’ Seamus Kearney reported: “There’s a variety of artwork along the walkway, from African masks … and unusual benches that appear to have kept growing and growing … to one of the most popular, a statue in the city centre.”

Key facts about the city of Lyon:

  • It is France’s second largest metropolitan centre
  • Its history goes back more than 2,000 years
  • The Roman Emporer Augustus made it the capital of the Gauls
  • The Rhône and Saône rivers join up in Lyon
  • It is considered to be the French capital of gastronomy

The statue looks like a man saving another from drowning, but actually he is holding himself.

And the location of the work, called “The weight of Oneself”, is not by chance.

Marion Réguillon, a Lyon guide, told Postcards: “This statue symbolises civic and individual responsibility, both of which are debated in the main courthouse, which is just in front of the statue. It’s a nice connection.”

The Berlin-based artists who made the statue are Danish-born Michael Elmgreen and Norwegian-born Ingar Dragset.

Teams of designers and 13 international artists came together to make the Saône riverbank a more attractive place.

The African masks are by the Cameroon-born artist Pascale Marthine Tayou, who lives in Belgium.

The benches are the work of an Argentinian artist living in Paris, Pablo Reinoso.

For more information:

Rives de Saône

Elmgreen & Dragset

Pascale Marthine Tayou

Pablo Reinoso