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Every year, Un Eté au Havre (One Summer in Le Havre) invites international artists to create works that echo its identity. 

In 2017, Edouard Philippe, then mayor of Le Havre, launched an exceptional cultural programme to celebrate the anniversary of the city’s foundation.

Impact, de Stéphane Thidet
Les sculptures de Stephan Balkenhol

2017: Le Havre celebrates 500 years

Jean Blaise, the artistic director who previously contributed to Nantes’ cultural development, invited internationally renowned artists to join a conversation with the city and its inhabitants.

Many local and national players have joined this large-scale operation. In just a few months, Le Havre became a “trendy” city: more than two million visitors took part in the four flagship events of this first edition. 

In view of the success it achieved, a new programme is offered every year.

Works in the public space

Le Havre is an inspiring city. Its reconstructed city centre, inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, the omnipresence of water and its relief make it a popular playground for local and international artists.

Numerous works of contemporary art, often in XXL format, were thus born from the sensations they experienced while discovering the city, its monuments, its history, its specific features…

La structure UP#3 de Lang et Baumann sur la plage
Les cabanes de plage colorées par Karel Martens

The port environment inspired Vincent Canivet, who installed two gigantic multicoloured container arches on Quai de Southampton. His Catène de Containers has become one of the city’s iconic monuments.

Karel Martens, Sabina Lang and Daniel Baumann have transformed Le Havre beach with Couleurs sur la Plage (Colours on the Beach), which features on the coastal huts, and #UP3, a large-format sculpture that features in the view down Avenue Foch.

In total, about twenty works from the four editions of Un Eté au Havre are there to be discovered, alone, as a couple, with friends or family! 

Every summer, Le Havre’s cultural sites also host new exhibitions, specially programmed for the festival.

Catene de containers
Le Temps suspendus, visible dans les Jardins Suspendus

Discoveries in the company of mediators

Ready for a big tour? Every year, new tours are created to discover all the permanent and temporary works. During the opening period of Un Eté au Havre, mediators are to be found near each work: contemporary art becomes accessible to all! And throughout the year, this circuit helps you discover the installations that are a permanent feature of the public space. 


A unifying launch event

Every year, a large-scale event bringing together several hundred thousand participants marks the opening of the Un Été au Havre season at the end of June: a colourful parade in 2017, a blaze on the beach in the light of 4,000 candles designed by the Carabosse company in 2018, an ephemeral cardboard city, the forgotten cities, in 2019…

Oeuvre Parabole Caucriauville

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