In Montreuil, the rekindling of the work of Claude Lévêque divides the inhabitants of the Bel Air district

The light installation by artist Claude Lévêque in the Bel Air district of Montreuil, here on November 24, 2021, had been off since January 2021.

“Just to see her, it disgusts me! » For Aïda, a high school student living in the Bel Air district of Montreuil (Seine-Saint-Denis), the decision of the town hall to reconnect the work of Claude Lévèque, Modern Dance, is outrageous. The luminous creation had been extinguished in 2021 after the accusations of rape of minors involving the plastic surgeon from Montreuil – the facts are time-barred, but the justice system continues to investigate this file. ” The different political groups of our majority came together and jointly decided to light up again Modern Dance »justifies, in a letter sent to all the inhabitants of the district on March 9, Alexie Lorca, the deputy mayor responsible for culture.

Read also: Should we relight an installation of Claude Lévêque, accused of raping minors? In Montreuil, the debate rages

In the shape of a hula-hoop, this monumental work made up of three hoops of 1,300 LEDs surrounding the water tower in the main square, was commissioned in 2015 from Claude Lévêque by the town hall as part of a vast renovation plan. urban. If the installation was, at first, the pride of the inhabitants of this popular district, the accusations of pedophilia, revealed by The world and Mediapart in January 2021, quickly tarnished its prestige. “At that time, we had to turn off the work. A breather was needed given these revelations, explains Alexie Lorca. But removing it was out of the question. You don’t remove a work like that out of emotion, especially since it is now part of the neighborhood’s identity. »

“Our Landmark”

At the end of November 2021, the neighborhood council, a participatory structure made up of around thirty inhabitants, pleaded with the town hall for its relighting. ” Switching off the work was a symbolic gesture at first, believes Delphis Desvoivres, member of the council and resident of Bel Air. It is not with symbols that we rule sexual violence against children. For us, it is necessary to turn on the installation precisely to highlight the situation. It’s kind of a metaphor. »

Since March 21, after ten months of extinction, the LED work has once again lit up the large square, which has long remained in darkness, with electric blue. ” The neighborhood council is a democratic body. From the moment she decides in favor of the relighting, we cannot not hear her grievances, ” says Alexie Lorca. Vanessa, a resident of the place, is satisfied with this decision: “ This is our landmark in the neighborhood. No need to make a big fuss about it either. The work and the artist are different. »

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