Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Just my luck that I didn't have my camera with me yesterday when I was venturing into a part of the 14th arrondissement completely new to me, when there before my eyes was a giant sculpture the likes of which I'd never seen before. But then again, just my luck, the Internet is an amazing thing and I found both a great picture and an interesting explanation on the French version of Wikipedia. The building pictured is a school that bears the same name as the street: La Tombe Issoire.
Some years ago, the school, in cooperation with local authorities, undertook a project involving all the children to learn about Issoire, a terrible giant from the folklore of medieval times who menaced pilgrims traveling from Paris to Saint Jacques de Compostelle (San Juan di Compostella) in Spain. William of Orange finally killed the giant but his body was too big to carry back to Paris, which at the time of course did not include the outer reaches of the 14th. Instead he brought back only his head, entombing his body in what it now the neighborhood adjoining Parc Montsouris. Truth or fiction? You be the judge. What is undeniable is that the sculpture by Corinne Beoust was installed in 2007. To learn more, check out this site. Or click on the picture to get a closer look.