FRANCE | Le Cyclop, Milly-la-Fôret

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In the quiet Milly-la-Fôret is a huge artistic monument hidden in the forest. The one-eyed monster, almost 23 meters high, was designed and made by Swiss artist Jean Tinguely. Together with his wife and friends, he made the sculpture in 20 years. The statue is made from 300 tons of waste, consisting of ceramic mosaic, concrete, metal, stones, mirrors and a waterfall. All kinds of art are involved in the Cyclop. Jean’s wife also called it “Jean’s Dream”.

Jean Tinguely started the project in 1969, but unfortunately he could not finish it, he died in 1987. Since then, the French government has been responsible for maintaining and protecting the piece.

We visited the sculpture in January. It was freezing and we couldn’t find the way. After a 30-minute walk we saw a vague figure in the forest. We decided to walk there and he stood there in his full glory. Unfortunately it was closed. Normally you can climb all kinds of stairs and see the inside of the sculpture. This allows you to see the materials and the complexity of the it. Fortunately the fence around it was not made of concrete and we could actually see everything. The mirrors reflected the morning light, we saw his eye, teeth and he had his mouth open. When we walked around it we saw the rest of the materials, a train wagon, gears, blocks, stairs, a bit of anything and everything. Very special to see and probably even more special to climb.

We found The Cyclop on the Atlas Obscura site.