Rotating showers?

There are six fountains around the « Rond-Point des Champs-Elysées ». They have been “under renovation” for years. … and now!?!? I tried to take some nice photos, but…

Maybe we should first have a look of what has been. The fountains were created in 1863, by Adolphe Alphand, who together with Baron Haussmann was involved in the creation of the majority of the Paris parks and gardens. In the 1930’s the fountains were beautifully decorated by the famous glass designer René Lalique. Too fragile, these decorations disappeared in 1958 and were replaced by some simpler glass structures, later replaced by plastic… and finally the fountains have been “dry” for about 20 years.

These new “fountains” (or showers? - sorry) will be officially inaugurated in a couple of days, March 21, but they are already “in operation”. I use this expression because they are rotating (why?), illuminated…

You can certainly have different opinions about the aesthetic impression of these new fountains … and you may guess mine. They have been created by two brothers, Bouroullec, more specialized in furniture design? They have cost some 6 or 7 million euros (to a large part financed by sponsors) and will, as long as the mechanism still works, probably also cost a fortune in energy.  Why do our present responsible parties for culture at the Mayor’s office always want to choose something technically complicated which we have all reasons to believe – based on experience – will not last?

(At least, another controversial choice by the City... the Tulips by Jeff Koons (see previous post), will obviously - and fortunately - not be placed in front of the Paris Modern Art Museum, but probably - more or less hidden - somewhere in the gardens behind the Petit Palais, if anywhere…)

In the meantime, at the “Rond-Point” you can still admire some of the older installations.


Anonymous said...

To my eyes, a most inauspicious mix of gym showers and playground monkey bars.
A total mockery of the incomparable beauty and symmetry of this most beloved city. How do they get way with it?
Thank you, Peter.

Anonymous said...

They invoke a sense of the drainage downspouts for rain gutters
on a house. Or wastewater outlets from an industrial
facility. Someone with the purse strings got gaslighted.

MadAboutParis said...


...maybe Christo could come back to wrap them in damask or camo?