Buried Bicycle – Contemporary art

The Buried Bicycle – Bicyclette Ensevelie is a contemporary sculpture located in the Parc de la Villette.

Buried Bicycle in Parc de la Villette
Buried Bicycle

The public park is the largest and most popular in Paris. It includes a science and music museums, countless art and music venues.

It is also an extensive leisure park with playgrounds and activities for children, food stalls and restaurants.

The Buried Bicyclette is one of the few unusual art pieces scattered all over the park.

A pedal, part of the saddle, part of the slightly bent front wheel and one half of the handlebar with its bell are the only parts that emerge from the ground!

The Buried Bicycle is made of steel, aluminum, fiber-reinforced plastic and is painted with blue polyurethane enamel.

It’s been in the park since 1990.

Why a bicycle?

Buried Bicycle - Bicyclette Ensevelie saddle, handlebar and pedal - in Parc de La Villette - Paris
Saddle, handlebar and peda

Well, a French man invented the bicycle in the 18th century; it was a very basic model, but it worked!

Indeed, cycling has always had a special place in French culture. Everybody agrees that the Tour de France is one of the most popular sporting events in our country.

That said, representing an entire bicycle wouldn’t have had the same impact as the sculpture needed to be huge.

It would have therefore lost its appeal because of its size.

So with this in mind, the Swedish artist Claes Oldenburg and his Dutch wife Coosje van Bruggen chose to only represent a few parts.

Buried Bicycle - Bicyclette Ensevelie wheel in Parc de la Villette

They left the rest to the imagination of the passers-by.

The effect is quite impressive and the symbolism obvious. Who has not fallen off a bicycle once in a lifetime and ended up with a bent front wheel?

Everyone can also relate to the sculpture because the proportions have been beautifully respected.

You’ll love it or hate it, but the Buried Bicyle – Bicyclette Ensevelie will not leave you indifferent…

Directions: 19th District
Metro: Porte de Pantin, Corentin Cariou, Porte de la Villette on Line 5, 7
Coordinates: Lat 48.893849 – Long 2.390260

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