Start Monument du Centenaire
Finish Place Garibaldi
Time 2 hours
Good for Kids, gardens, parks, contemporary art
Points of Interest Jardin Albert 1er, Coulée verte, Place Garibaldi, MAMAC (Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art)
Points to Note MAMAC is closed on Monday.
Ever notice how as soon as a town puts up a monument someone always has something to say about it? Is that true in your town? It sure is true in Nice. It’s easy to see why some may not appreciate the Apollo statue (item number 9 in the Promenade du Paillon walk):
Fortunately sensibilities had changed by 2011 when the statue returned from its ignominious exile. True story: In following news reports at the time I was sure I heard our mayor, Christian Estrosi, quip that the statue was modelled after him. I thought the remark was so droll, I contacted the mayor’s press office during the writing of this chapter and asked if they could confirm it. Nope. They kindly provided me with numerous archived news reports and none mentioned the remark. I don’t think I dreamed it. I’d love to hear from anyone who was there at the time of the restoration ceremony.
At least that statue has become a beloved fixture in Nice. As for Bernar Venet’s Arc 115.5° (item number 5), not so much.
Of all the public sculpture on this walk, the most peculiar is the little-known Lioness Statue (item number 7).
I don’t know which is more disturbing, that bloodthirsty face or the story about her backside. Either would frighten children which may be why the statue is in a relatively obscure portion of the Jardin Albert 1er.