New Venue for the Naked Lady of the Loire, Tours own “Angel of the North”
The controversial “Femme-Loire”, a giant statue of a naked woman that was originally to be installed overlooking the UNESCO Heritage site of Marmoutier Abbey near Tours, is to be erected elsewhere following petitions and protests from locals.
The statue, depicting a woman lying naked on her back on the ground, will measure 17 metres high and 40 long and will be made of cardboard, plaster and lime. The space under her legs is meant to accommodate exhibitions and shows.
The project has generated considerable controversy and led to an internet petition gathering more than 7,000 signatories to demand that the statue is not located overlooking Marmoutier Abbey.
“Anxious to preserve the freedom of artistic creation but also to preserve the environment of Marmoutier, an alternative placement which will still ensure the work can be seen from the motorway and be accessible to the public has been proposed to Michel Audiard (the artist), who has accepted this proposition” said the mayor of Tours.
The proposed new location is near the site originally planned, on the same hill. She will still be visible from the A10 motorway from Paris to Bordeaux, as the artist wished, but further away from the abbey of Marmoutier.
Construction of the Femme-Loire should begin and be completed in spring 2013.
Although Tours is a little way outside the Pays de la Loire, this story was so reminiscent of the controversy that originally surrounded the “Angel of the North” sculpture by the A1 at Gateshead in our native north-east of England, that I had to mention it here!