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The opening event in Marseille | © Courtesy of MP2018 Quel Amour!
The opening event in Marseille | © Courtesy of MP2018 Quel Amour!
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Why Love Is in the Air in Marseille in 2018

Picture of Alex Ledsom
Updated: 26 February 2018
From Valentine’s Day to September 1, 2018, there will be love in the air across several towns in Provence. Over 450 places are hosting exhibitions, concerts, festivals and dance events celebrating love. Here’s the list for Marseille. You’re bound to find something to your liking.

It all started with the biggest kiss

Everything kicked off in Marseille on February 14, when 45,000 people turned up to Marseille’s Vieux Port to watch the fireworks and shows. At 7 p.m., people took part in Le Grand Baiser (The Big Kiss), where as many people as possible kiss at the same location, at the same time. A similar event took place in Arles, Aubagne, Istres, Martigues et Salon-de-Provence. These locations are also where a collection of exhibitions and events are to take place throughout 2018. Love is certainly in the air in the South of France.

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The opening celebrations of MP2018 |  © Courtesy of MP2018 Quel Amour!
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Love from A to Z

Marseille’s flagship museum, the MUCEM (Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations), is showing a new exhibition on love. Situated in the Fort Saint-Jean building, it’s an innovative way for the museum to showcase some of its collection by displaying it around the theme of L’amour.

“The main themes of love are broken down via the ABCs, from the tender to the torrid,” the museum explains. “A is for Amour (Love), B is for Bijoux (Jewellery), C is for Cœur (Heart), D is for Devoir conjugal (Conjugal duty),” and the list goes on. The exhibition covers pieces from the 18th century to the present day, with displays coming from societies from Europe and the Mediterranean. The exhibition runs February 14 to August 27.

MUCEM, Fort Saint-Jean, Prom. Robert Laffont, Marseille, France, +33 4 84 35 13 13

Courtesy of MuCEM/Yves Inchierman

A love lock on display as part of the Amour season and An A to Z of Love exhibition | © Courtesy of Yves Inchierman / MuCEM

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Carte Blanche à JR

From March 14 to May 14, you can see a photographic exhibition by JR on the love-affair between Marseille and traveling—whether Marseille is a place of departure, a place of arrival, or merely a place for passing-through wanderers. French artist JR has made a name for himself with photographic collages displayed on giant walls.

Carte Blanché à JR, 23 Place de la Joliette, Marseille, France

JR J1_Chroniques de Clichy Montfermeil, France, 2017 © JR-ART.NET_Palais_de_Tokyo_02_ MP2018-min

French artist JR in front of his work | © Courtesy of MP2018 Quel Amour!

2 Jours, 2 Nuits

Young photographers and artists were asked to exhibit their views on “young love” and this exhibition, 2 Days, 2 Nights at La Friche, is the result. La Friche Belle de Mai is an old tobacco factory that runs alongside Marseille‘s main St Charles train station, and is now home to skateboard parks, cool bars, startups and exhibition spaces.

La Friche Belle de Mai, 41 Rue Jobin, Marseille, France, +33 4 95 04 95 95

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Young Love |  © Courtesy of MP2018 Quel Amour!/Yohanne Lamoulere

Check out the full program of events here. With so many on offer, you’re sure to find something you like.