• The Voyage à Nantes is a free tourist and cultural event taking place every summer in the streets of Nantes.
  • The 2023 edition, which will take place from July 1 to September 3, will honor the statues.
  • Statues of all sizes, often colossal and amazing, will be found along the famous green line.

The moment is always eagerly awaited by Nantes residents and contemporary art lovers in the public space. Le Voyage à Nantes unveiled this Tuesday the program of its summer event 2023. And, unlike previous years, this one will have a theme like a red thread: statues. After a 2022 edition deemed disappointing by the public and that they themselves consider "soft", the organizers want to find a "very visual" and "popular" event. "Statues tell the story of a city and, at the same time, everyone crosses them. We walk past and wonder when are they going to move? That is what we will try to do. I think it's going to be a lively edition with a lot of intrigue, a lot of movement," explains Jean Blaise, boss of Le Voyage à Nantes.

The statues, often colossal, will indeed be everywhere in the city from July 1 to September 3. Starting with the must-see places of passage in the city center: colorful ceramic sculptures evoking the seabed in the fountain of the Place Royale, six strange creatures evoking "the shortcomings of the human being" Place du Commerce, the representation of an "emaciated monster" passage Pommeraye, the stacking of "figurative motifs" in a column 5 m high Place Sainte-Croix, but also the monumental gathering of 19 copies of famous statues of the Western world rue d'Orléans. This latest work, signed by the Chinese artist Xu Zhen, will certainly be one of the strong proposals of this year.

It may be the same for the diversion of four "well-known Nantes statues" that the public will be able to find in unexpected postures and decorations, like General Cambronne who will be reproduced in scale 1 seated on a terrace of Place Graslin.

In unusual locations

Statues can also be found in unusual places, such as the Palais de Justice, in the courtyard of the former School of Fine Arts, in the garden of the Psalette, or in an inner courtyard of the Place de la Bourse. "We wanted to surprise and make the people of Nantes travel too," explains Jean Blaise.

The route, accessible free of charge by following the famous green line painted on the ground, will also show a "filmed parade" on the stage of the Graslin theater, a collection of 300 theater masks in a cloister kept secret, or a tram line 2 transformed in bright colors of tropical plants.

  • Entertainment
  • Culture