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“It stands on the edge of the continent, about to fall into the sea, with breathtaking amounts of air and sea and a studio light picking out all its contours.

It is an unexpected kind of city, larger than itself somehow, like a giant mock-up. That could explain why Royal de Luxe feels so at home here and why it keeps coming back.

The first time that I visited Le Havre, I thought about Brasilia and Chandigarh, these oversized, futuristic capitals keen to anticipate their development. But the most disconcerting thing was the nod to the classics in Perret’s architecture, telling of a desire for the avant-garde and of nostalgia for the past. The word that springs to mind is ‘retrofuturist’ (after the name a famous radio programme).

The objective we were given was to look beyond the 500th anniversary and demonstrate just how desirable and unique the city is.

So we have selected some creators able to take on the city and unveil it. They are all ‘physical’ artists that embrace the space. Their works will make a major impression but I hope, above all, that they will act as catalysts to creativity for people from Le Havre and, will demonstrate the city’s genius to the visitors who come here.

We have devised four cultural tours to take you on a subjective journey around Le Havre, stopping off at the monumental installations found in the public space and visiting the exhibitions that are directly connected to the city. All that the visitor will discover here will be deeply inspired by the city. All, but Love Love by Julien Berthier, a fantasy fitting so well in the basin Vauban, the only whim that pass over the requirement of in-situ.

Not once have we forgotten our guiding principle: showing off the city through its works and artistic events, rather than showing the works exhibited in the city. Some of the works will disappear, while others will remain long afterwards to remind us of this very special year, especially Le Temps Suspendu, a showcase for the thousands of portraits of the people who lived in Le Havre in 2017, the babies, adults, children and teenagers, witnesses to what happened then, during the festive, poetic and somewhat offbeat event.

We have worked with some very sensitive people and that will be felt. The visitors that we attract should experience immense enjoyment on their journey, and appreciate all the intelligence that has fed our artists’ work and the pertinence behind our commission.”  

Jean Blaise
Artistic Director for A Summer in Le Havre

A Summer in Le Havre would like to thank Matmut who accompanies the visitors on the Discovery Tours. 

Our patrons

  • logo LH CLUB 2017
  • logo VINCI Construction France
  • logo Transdev
  • logo EDF
  • logo Total SA
  • logo Matmut pour les arts
  • logo SNCF