Tapestry celebrating Olympic athletes unveiled in Paris

By Thomson Reuters Mar 12, 2024 | 9:00 AM

PARIS (Reuters) – A tapestry depicting Olympic athletes competing around the Eiffel Tower, and designed by French-Iranian artist Marjane Satrapi, was unveiled in Paris on Tuesday, in the lead up to the 2024 Games.

The triptych, composed of wool and 9 metres long, weighs 60 kg and took three years to weave by the Gobelins tapestries workshops.

It features the silhouette of athletes in bright colours, poised to race or mid-competition, against the base of the Eiffel Tower and Paris skyline.

The artist said she thought she was being pranked when asked to design the piece.

“When I got the call, I thought it was a hoax, but it wasn’t. I was delighted. I was very delighted, very honoured, very happy but also very stressed,” said Satrapi, author of the graphic novel “Persepolis”, whose film adaptation won her a nomination at Academy Awards in 2008.

The tapestry will be displayed on the Hotel de la Marine in the Place de la Concorde in the French capital from late June. The installation will then be moved to Nice, home of the 2030 Winter Games, after the Paralympics concludes in September.

(Reporting by Vincent Daheron; Writing by Julien Pretot; Editing by Lucy Marks)