Le mûr des je t'aime // Paris' I Love You Wall
"How do I love thee? Let me count the ways." Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Sonnet 43 might have been in mind at the creation of the I Love You Wall in Paris' Montmartre quartier. No romantic getaway or Valentine's Day Trip to Paris would be complete without a visit. Let's take a P'Niche peek and learn a bit more of this dreamy (and very instagrammable) spot...
Le mûr des je t'aime quietly arrived on the Montmartre landscape in the year 2000. The inspiration came from the artist Frédéric Baron, who asked colleagues, friends, family, even neighbors and foreign embassies, to write "I Love You" in their mother language.
Eventually, he amassed over 300 love declarations, comprising of over 250 individual languages.
Given the many dialects and variants of languages, it seems Baron collected over 1,000 unique ways to express "I Love You," and included all 192 UN Languages.
Of course "love" is captured in popular languages, but lesser spoken languages, like Esperanto (mi amas vin), Inuktitut (ᓇᒡᓕᒋᕙᒋᑦ), Navajo (Ayóó'ánííníshní) and Bambara (M'bi fe) are also included.
These love messages were then passed to the master calligrapher, Claire Kito, to carefully transpose on to the wall's tiles, which were crafted from enameled lava.
All in, there are 612 tiles on the I Love You Wall, covering 40 square meters (that's approximately 420 square feet).
That's a whole lotta love!
But, why a wall, which seems a symbol of division, rather than unity?
Well, initially Frédéric Baron might have thought the same thing, but eventually came to settle on the idea that the wall is a show of strength that could support this most beautiful and lasting of our human feelings and emotions - love.
Now keep your eyes open, P'Nicher...
You might notice what seem to be very haphazard splashes of red on the wall - totally random right? Nope!
When pressed, the artists gave away the "hidden in plain sight" secret...
These red touches, placed intentionally throughout the work of art actually represent pieces of a broken heart.
Le ouch, right? Wait for it...
If you were to take the time to carefully and strategically piece back together all of the red pieces and slashes, you would artfully arrive at a newly formed and complete heart.
The message from the artists is clear - we are a society needing to repair ourselves from a lack of love and respect and to rebuild our collective heart, bringing all the pieces back together.
Without the many pieces, we are divided. All together, we are one.
We are love.
Want to head to the wall for some romance and great photo? Great! here is what you need to know...
The I Love You Wall opens (free of charge) at 8am, although closing times change from season to season, so best to check before you head over.
Location: Square Jehan Rictus
Place des Abbesses, 75018
What do you think, P'Nicher - ready for some love at Le Mûr de je t'aime? Have some great pix or memories to share of your visit? Let us know in the comments below et à bientôt!