New Patrons


The New Patrons
of Tours, France

The New Patrons of Tours

Public Inauguration on November 24, 2004

Photo: Alexandre Yagoubi Idrissi

The Monster Of Tours

Commission: Erect a sculpture as an attractive new focal point in one of Tour’s historic quarters

Mediators: Anastassia Makridou-Bretonneau (Eternal Network),

Artists: Xavier Veilhan,

Cooperation Partners and Sponsors: Fondation de France, Ville de Tours,

Duration: - – 2004

Budget: 102,071 €

By the early 2000s, the Place du Grand Marché, the main market square in the historic part of Tours, had fallen into a miserable state of disrepair. Storeowners and nearby residents convinced the city council to redevelop the area. But they also wanted something more, something that would lend the space a new identity. Residents turned to the mediator Anastassia Makridou-Bretonneau, who suggested Xavier Veilhan. The artist surprised the town with plans for a monumental statue with an unconventional subject: instead of a hero towering over the square he envisioned a monster, a science fiction figure-cum-mascot to watch over the historic quarter and its residents. The plan triggered a heated debate. Pressured by public support, the city council gave the project the go-ahead and approved funding.

The sculpture was unveiled at a dedication ceremony in 2004. Loved by many and hated by some, the statue has become a unique city landmark, with locals now referring to the square as the Place du Monstre. Festivals, markets, and new retailers have injected new energy into the vicinity, while the square has even become something of a tourist attraction.

“Before, people didn‘t know where the Place du Grand Marché was. Now, everybody knows where the Place du Monstre is.”

Fanny Delfau, Florist, Patron

The New Patrons of Tours

Inauguration ceremony on November 24, 2004

Photo: Alexandre Yagoubi Idrissi

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