How many different ways are there to say “I Love You”? According to French artist Fédéric Baron, there are thousands. He knows this because in the early 1990s he started writing down the phrase in as many languages as he could find. He would ask neighbours and tourists, and even visited embassies across Paris to confirm and expand his findings. After a couple of years he had compiled a list of over 1,000 ways to say “I Love You”. In 2000, Baron teamed up with calligrapher Claire Kito to put this list to greater use. Together, they created the I Love You wall of Paris.
This beautiful mural is tucked away in a small park in Montmartre. Covering over 400 square feet, it features 311 languages written across 612 tiles. Each of the 192 nations of the United Nations are represented, as well as rarer languages and dialects from across the globe. As this is an outdoor art installation, the tiles are made from enamelled lava, and were specifically chosen for their ability to withstand the elements. Hopefully this means that the I Love You wall will stand the test of time.
Those who have already found the wall may have noticed the seemingly random red marks spaced throughout it. According to the artists, these represent pieces of a broken heart. Only through the declarations of love surrounding these pieces can the heart come together once more. All in all it’s a beautiful monument for the City of Love.
FIND ME HINT
The I Love You wall is located in the 18th arrondissement. Just head to Abbesses Metro station and look for Jehan-Rictus Square. While you’re there, be sure to explore the beautiful surrounding neighbourhood of Montmartre.
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Laura Moore is a professional storyteller who loves history and the many stories that make Paris one of the most fascinating cities in the world. Join one of her signature tours to learn the story of a city.