Saturday, 25 October 2014

555 yards

Life is not always pleasant when you live in the vicinity of a registered French monument.

location of the butcher, the exhibition and château - Cormatin
And in the vicinity means often within a radius of 500 metres (555 yards). Whatever modifications you want to make to the outside of your property, it requires the approval of an “Architecte des bâtiments de France”. The restrictions can be quite serious. When in Cormatin a butcher’s shop was renovated, located within 555 yards from the Château de Cormatin, the butcher not only had to obtain approval of the colour scheme of his shop, but the architect demanded that a tree, once in front of the shop, that had died and been taken down, was to be replaced with a new one. Obviously the butcher did not feel like planting a full size tree, and he got away with planting a bonsai tree clearly visible on the picture (left hand side).

Butcher's shop Cormatin : The bonsai tree is left in the picture
Not everybody sticks to the rules, as may become clear from the next example, also close to the Château de Cormatin. This concerns the house of the artist (and former builder) G.L., who is specialized in big projects based on examples from ancient Egypt. In the hamlet La Bergerie he has built and opened an “Espace d’Art Contemporain”, consisting of the base of a pyramid, with a great number of Horus statues with fiery eyes surrounding it. After protests of the neighbours he has hidden his work of art behind a concrete wall, which makes the complex look like a concentration camp, but that is by the by.

The pyramid under construction - La Bergerie
His house in Cormatin lies, no matter how you measure it, from the entrance or from the Château itself, well within the magic 555 yards limit. The main difference with the butcher’s shop however is, that the butcher is well visible from the Château entrance, while G.L.’s habitat is hidden somewhere in a side street.
Click here for an album with pictures of the Pyramid in La Bergerie and of G.L.’s house.
Despite the fact that the house looks like this since 2010 (except for the Horus statue and the pink wall paint), whilst in 2011 it received its characteristic pink colour and statue, I still do not believe for one second that G.L. has ever applied for permission for this open air exhibition!

Habitat in Cormatin, less than 555 y from the château
This Egyptian extravaganza in Burgundy lies within walking distance (45 minutes) from La Tuilerie de Chazelle.

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