Art And Culture

Lyon’s Festival of Lights Held Amid Tight Security

Light installation at Lyon CathedralLight installation at Lyon Cathedral

Thousands of people attended Lyon’s famous Festival of Lights amid high security.

Last year, the show was cancelled in the wake of the November 13 Paris attacks, euronews reported.

The festival usually lasts for four days but this year it ran for three days, December 8-10, and was policed by 750 gendarmes, military and security personnel.

The town council also chose to restrict the event to the city center and between Old Lyon and the ancient theater of Fourviere. The festival usually takes place in the nine districts of the city.

The city laid on 41 exhibitions almost half the number of previous years in the historic heart of the city.

Projecting light on the majestic facade of the Saint-Jean Cathedral is a challenge for any light artist. Yann Nguema with his group EZ3kiel were chosen to reconstruct the historic monument, virtually, stone by stone.

“The idea is to play with the stones, not with the volume like most other artists, who map them. There is a big phase of drawing, we have drawn all the stones and there are 12,000 to draw. Then I find scenarios to put movement in the lines of each stone, and so it falls, flies, swells, deflates, it is a game with the laws of physics,” the artist explained.

Buildings, streets, squares and bridges were all lit up with dazzling displays of color – with over 70 light installations in all.

Lyon Festival of Light is not only an important economic barometer for France’s second city, it is also a useful gauge for the whole country; much of which has been hit hard by a downturn in domestic tourism.

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