France’s second-hand goods website Leboncoin has had its fair share of bizarre products listed for sale on its pages.
But it has arguably never seen anything quite like the item that Benedetto Bufalino advertised recently.
The Lyon artist put up for sale a swimming pool made out of a bus.
The item first came to the public’s attention four years ago in the northern city of Lens, after authorities decommissioned the vehicle.
Mr Bufalino, working with the association Euralens, which existed to help the cultural transformation of the region following the arrival of the Louvre museum in Lens, created the unusual swimming pool.
The installation - called La bus piscine or the swimming pool bus - saw the vehicle turned on its side. It allowed for the creation of a fully functioning heated pool, 1.5 metres deep with a temperature of 27C.
“It was fun for the people of Lens to see something they were so familiar with, the bus they took to work or school every day, turned into something else,” Mr Bufalino told The Connexion.
He added it was important the bus was on its side.
“Our cities are saturated with cars, we’re always moving and moving,” said Mr Bufalino. “My work is an ode to slowness, to taking your time to do things.
“I want to change the way we view vehicles. To me, they symbolise the endless movement of modern life. That’s why I turn them into things that invite people to stop in their tracks and enjoy themselves for a while.”
‘I have had several potential buyers’
When it was exposed in Lens in 2019, the pool was freely accessible and overseen by a lifeguard. It has been sitting in storage for several years and Mr Bufalino hopes the pool’s next owner will also make it available to the public.
“Leboncoin was just the easiest way,” he said. “I have several potential buyers, but I am hoping for a local public entity. I want the pool to be made available to people as much as possible, it shouldn’t be in someone’s backyard.”
He also mentioned that many towns in the French countryside do not have access to swimming pools. As a somewhat transportable pool that doubles as an art exhibition, the bus would let more people enjoy a refreshing swim during heatwaves, he argued.
In the past, Mr Bufalino has turned cars into lamp posts, an excavator into an aquarium, and a Fiat Coupé into a literal Fiat coupée (cut). The car was split in half and turned into a frying station for chips.
The swimming pool bus has not found a buyer yet, but it is up for the symbolic price of €1 on Leboncoin.