The Lions of Lyon

115px-flag_of_lyonLyon, France hosted an arts event in 2004 with the idea of 60 lions, 60 places and 60 artists creating fancy lions to decorate the city. Of course this idea has been done all over the world now with orcas and eagles in Victoria, Canada; pigs in Seattle, Washington; bears in Berlin, Germany¬†and I expect countless others animals in countless other cities. At least the lions of Lyon owe their heritage to the city flag and coat of arms! A little research still required on the history behind this but in the meantime I’ll at least put a few photos up.


The Lions of Lyon, France

The Lions of Lyon, France

Lion, Lyon, France

Lion, Lyon, France

Riding a Lion, Lyon, France

Riding a Lion, Lyon, France

Lions of Lyon, France

Lions of Lyon, France

Now since we have the lions of Lyon out of the way, why does Lyon have polar bears? I really can’t figure this one out. Maybe polar bears were in France 10,000 years ago? Maybe polar bears are French? Does anyone know?

Polar Bear, Lyon, France

Polar Bear, Lyon, France

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5 Responses to “The Lions of Lyon”

  1. Diane C. says:

    Lyon, France looks like a fascinating place. I like the first lion that looks like it’s covered with glass or mirrors, and the black and white lion, and the columns in some of the pictures. I can’t imagine the reason for the polar bear.

  2. D. Travis North says:

    There’s a few places around Philadelphia that do something similar. Doylestown, for example, had horses a couple years back. There’s a place up in the Pocono Mountains that was using Black Bears.

    I think the concept is really cool: Public art that is somehow centrally connected. The kids love it too, because it’s like a little scavenger hunt. I don’t know about the Poconos installation, but the Doylestown one almost became a status symbol for the businesses who sponsored each horse/artist. And it certainly caused a lot of people to wander about town and discover new places.

  3. kevin says:

    Diane – The glass covered lion was my favourite. Many of the columns in Lyon are huge, it’s quite the experience to walk through the large entries that they support.

    I have been researching the polar bear connection and can’t come up with anything, somebody must know?

    Travis – You are right about the kids loving the outdoor sculpture. They drag their folks all over looking at them. Good for the businesses that purchased the art, it has become a bit of a status symbol here as well.

  4. […] we are on the subject of France (see The Lions of Lyon), when I was travelling there one year ago I couldn’t help but notice how beautiful the […]

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