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La Rochelle, France

The 13th of 21 street lamps to be installed as part of Mischa Kuball’s Solidarity Grid.
It was installed in September 2015.

The sleek silver lamp donated by the French city of La Rochelle as a gesture of solidarity during Christchurch’s recovery and rebuild process is a physical representation of France’s support for Christchurch during this time of rebuild.

SCAPE Public Art and the Embassy of France in New Zealand together approached La Rochelle city council to be involved in the project. The two cities are now united through the positive symbolism of light, strengthening ties between New Zealand and France.

Cultural counsellor at the French Embassy, Mr Raynald Belay said “the Embassy of France and the city of La Rochelle are delighted to be taking part in Solidarity Grid, developing the ties between La Rochelle and Christchurch. Links between the two regions are longstanding with of course the notable arrival in Akaroa during the mid-nineteenth century of the French from Charente-Maritime, the region in which La Rochelle is located. This project is an enlightened gesture of solidarity and for the people of France, it is a demonstration of our desire to positively impact on and be present in the rebuild of Christchurch.”

La Rochelle is a seaport city on the Atlantic coast of France. The Renaissance architecture, secret passageways and stone gargoyles bear witness to the city’s heritage as a fishing and trade stronghold since the 12th century. The picturesque Vieux Port (old port) contrasts with modern marina, Les Minimes, where over 3,500 yachts are moored in the tepid waters.