More than 1,000 people create live Impressionist painting

5th June 2010, Comments 0 comments

Some 1,250 people held enlarged fragments of a reproduction of a Claude Monet masterpiece above their heads Saturday in a bid to create the world's biggest live Impressionist painting.

The creation of a 600-square-metre (6,450-square-feet) version of a painting Monet made of Rouen's landmark Gothic cathedral kicked off a summer-long festival of Impressionist art.

Assembled in front of the city hall of Normandy's historic capital, the work dubbed "Monet vu du ciel" (Monet seen from the sky) was filmed and photographed from a helicopter in order to make the next edition of the Guinness Book of World Records.

The reproduction is one from a series of paintings the Impressionist master did of Rouen's cathedral in the 1890s. Eleven of his 30 cathedral canvases can be seen in a special exhibit at the Rouen Fine Arts Museum, which opened Friday.

The volunteers for the live painting included the region's top Socialist politicians, former prime minister Laurent Fabius and Rouen Mayor Valerie Fourneyron.

All participants hailed the group effort.

"I never take part in participatory things but finally here is something good, something that brings citizens together and creates a social event," said a 46-year-old woman who gave her name as Caroline.

"For once we've done something collective in Rouen," added another participant, Jane, 34, who entered her name for the event when it was announced on Facebook.

The Normandie-Impressionniste Festival runs through September featuring more than 100 events including art exhibits, theatre, concerts, films, sound and light shows, and picnics and promenades in the footsteps of the artists who made Normandy the cradle of Impressionism in the late 19th century.

© 2010 AFP

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