Welcome to the Wall of Love. This wall, located in the Jehan Rictus garden square, is 40 square metres or 430 sq ft. The wall was created in 2000 by FRédéric Baron and Claire Kito.
It is composed of 612 tiles of enameled lava, on which the phrase ‘I love you’ is featured 311 times in 250 languages.
The wall includes the words ‘I love you’ in all major languages, including all 192 United Nations languages, but also in rarer ones like Navajo, Inuit, Bambara and Esperanto.
How did this come into existence? The story goes that back in 1992, Fédéric Baron began a personal project to collect all of the different ways that a person could say “I love you.” He spent years wandering around Paris with his notebooks, connecting with people from all around the world and inquiring as to how they know to express the phrase.
It is estimated that Baron was able to collect over 1000 different ways of expressing I love you. I read that he even went to the many different international embassies in Paris to confirm that his findings.
Do you see the red bits on the wall? If you look at them close enough, they are strategically broken pieces of a heart. They are scattered throughout the mural as a representation of the human race, and how we can be torn apart by a lack of love in many parts of the world.
When pieced back together, the red parts form a complete heart and full symbolism of love. The message the artists wanted to convey is that we have long way to go in repairing our collective heart.
The wall is open to the public free of charge.
If you are looking for a relatively quiet and safe space in Montmartre in which to enjoy a picnic lunch then the open space surrounding the wall is a perfect solution.
Speaking of a picnic, let me show you my FAVORITE spot in all of Paris for a croissant, Au Levain d’Antan: 6 Rue des Abbesses, 75018 Paris.
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