Modern makeover of historic Carcassonne fortress leaves locals unhappy; Una-Minh Kavanagh; Lonely Planet

France – Historic Fortified City of Carcassonne

The Unesco World Heritage Site and fortified city of Carcassonne in the south of France has received an artistic makeover and locals are not too happy. Large yellow circles have donned the walls of the famous fortress known as Cité de Carcassonne that were designed by contemporary Swiss artist Felice Varini. The artist, famed for his eye-catching creations, was commissioned to design a piece that would celebrate 20 years of its Unesco status.

Dubbed “eccentric, concentric circles,” the work features 15 thin, painted aluminium sheets that form rings depending on how you view them as you walk through the historic site. However, not all residents are content with this new look. “It’s ignoble. And it’s expensive. Already we do not have the budgets to maintain or repair the citadel,” a shopkeeper told Le Parisien.

A petition has also been set up by those who object to the artistic creation. Addressed to Gérard Larrat, Mayor of Carcassonne, the letter outlines the anger of locals stating that they did not have their say in the overall idea. They have received almost 2000 signatures to date.

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