Carcasonne Yellow Paint

The second most-visited French attraction now looks like a shooting range. Tourist nightmare?

Photo: Twitter / Philippe Bélaval

This is not (unfortunately) a re-image of the famous Fly4free graphics. Residents of the Carcassonne area are appalled by what the largest medieval urban complex in Europe, the legendary castle and fortifications, has changed. Art or vandalism?

Are you going to France, and one of your dreams is to visit the famous Carcassonne? You must prepare for a big shock. Fortifications look … well, differently than usual.

Felice Varini, a Swiss artist known for his controversial work, was given a chance to “decorate” Carcassonne. The artist paints on architectural and urban spaces, such as walls, buildings and streets. His paintings are characterized by a single vantage point, from which an outside observer can view the whole composition – if he happens elsewhere, he will see only fragments not forming a coherent whole.

What did he paint on the fortifications and walls of Carcassonne?


– It looks like a shooting target! It is simply awful!

This is one of the milder opinions expressed by the residents of Carcassonne and tourists who can see the work of Felice Varini with their own eyes.

Foto: twitter / firenewsfeed

Extreme reactions

The artist glued  thin, aluminum strips – painted in bright colors – on the walls and turrets of the Carcassonne castle complex . The whole looks like concentric circles, spreading on water. Or how … a giant shooting range.

The terms “ugly” and “horror” appear in opinions expressed not only by residents, but also by tourists. Carcassonne is the second most popular attraction of France – annually it is visited by over 4 million tourists from around the world.

– As a medievalist, I am shocked that the French authorities could allow such corruption – comments of this type appear in the media.

Voices of support for modern art are in the minority. The work was created to honor the 20th anniversary of entering the entire complex on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The artist himself does not care about the critics, claiming that the circles fit perfectly into the city’s stone walls.

Understanding art

Apart from the very idea (apparently it does not discuss the tastes), the problem is the way of “displaying the work” .

Of course, it’s the intended effect. Nevertheless, tourists visiting Carcassonne, usually instead of a regular pattern – which is visible only from specific places – have such a picture before their eyes:

Photo: firenewsfeed


Residents of Carcassonne have prepared a special petition in which they demand removal of concentric circles . According to them, it is a disfigurement of a beautiful monument – it was not consulted with them, and the effect of the Swiss artist’s work must look every day.

The work of Felice Varini will be on display until September 30, 2018.

What is your opinion? Close your eyes, imagine a similar installation on the walls of the Wawel castle or the Teutonic castle in Malbork. Would fit?

Travel at the be


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