Fuel Your Imagination

The Secret of the Great Pyramid

When you think of Paris, what springs to mind? Perhaps it’s romance, the Eiffel Tower, croissants or cheese.

Izzy Ashton

Assistant Editor, BITE

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When you think of Paris, what springs to mind? Perhaps it’s romance, the Eiffel Tower, croissants or cheese. Chances are, even if you’re just swinging in for a hot minute, you’ll take the time to visit the Louvre museum and its awe inspiring pyramid, home to the classic yes-I’m-really-touching-the-top-with-my-finger Instagram shot.

And this year the iconic glass pyramid created by I. M. Pei turns 30. Having initially been greeted with distaste, it's now a firm feature on the Parisian tourist march. To celebrate the anniversary, French artist JR created The Secret of the Giant Pyramid, a giant collage that acted as an optical illusion where the pyramid continues underground, stretching on into a rocky expanse.

With the help of 400 volunteers, the team cut and pasted over 2,000 pieces of paper in the courtyard covering a surface area of 183,000 square feet. The art was designed to only exist for a single weekend, with JR writing that “the images, like life, are ephemeral.”

Within mere hours of the project's installation however, the paper was torn, shredded and blowing around the Louvre’s courtyard. Whilst it’s easy to view this as mindless destruction, the artist says the project "is also about presence and absence, about reality and memories, about impermanence.”

The artwork follows one undertaken by JR in 2016 when he wrapped the pyramid in a photographic piece causing it to 'disappear' against the backdrop of the Louvre Palace.

Visit JR’s website to find out more.

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