Eight French roundabouts with bizarre statues

Cultural laws require funding for roadside art projects… but the art commissioned can be surprising

Some of the artwork seems completely out of place
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If you are driving in France for an extended period, it is more than likely you will come across a roundabout or two.

France, unofficially, has the most roundabouts in the world with more than 60,000, and they are favoured as a low-cost measure to reduce accidents.

Read more: French roundabouts are also about revolution of a political kind

However, at the centre of many of these roundabouts is a piece of artwork, often contemporary, and sometimes completely bizarre.

A law known as the 1% artistique is responsible for these pieces.

First passed in 1951, this law required 1% of the expected budget of any public building work (schools, police stations, etc) to go towards purchasing or commissioning artwork.

This was later expanded to include road projects, leading to a flurry of art across the country, with local councils needing to comply with the law when constructing new roundabouts.

Read more: Make sense of... French motorway art

Some of these are related to local culture or industry, such as the lentil statues of Cussac-sur-Loire.

Others, however – including the infamous giant kiwi of Peyrehorade – seem completely out of place.

There is even a Facebook group called 'Neurchi de ronds-points moches' where users share photos of the ugliest roundabout art they have found.

Below are some of the most bizarre we have come across.


Credit: @BMoon_bee / Twitter

SUSMIOU: Fisherman

Credit: @Epipapu / Twitter

MONTPELLIER: Donut and sausage

Credit: @transjadada / Twitter

MARSEILLE: The thumb

Credit: @mairie6_8 / Twitter


Credit: @TetsRenault / Twitter


Credit: @Mac44482203 / Twitter


Credit: @shizumaru / Twitter


Credit: @lafleeeeeur / Twitter

Are there any… interesting pieces of roundabout art near you? Let us know via news@connexionfrance.com.

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