The Last Stand of Tour Paris 13

  • Art
  • Street art
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The end is nigh. It’s official: the legendary Tour Paris 13 gallery, unsurprisingly housed in a tower in the 13th, is set to shut its doors for good this month – or rather, to send them flying in a controlled implosion. The result is that, over the past few weeks, hordes of culture vultures have descended upon the venue to catch one last glimpse of its street art before the council has its way with the building. If you want to join the queue, come armed with nourishment, reading material and enough clothes keep you warm and dry, and aim for an early-morning arrival (the tower opens its doors at noon daily, but the queue begins to take shape around 6am). You'll be here for several hours, but the convivial spirit among queuers is infectious – like a sort of grungy Wimbledon.

Once inside, you’ll thank yourself for your patience. Eighty street artists from the world over are represented over nine floors, which range from ‘mere’ murals to elaborate installation art. Crumbling furniture, fluorescent paint, fire extinguishers and all kinds of other urban debris are whipped up into a dazzlingly inventive display. You’ll be guided around the building over the course of an hour; bring your camera or regret it forever. A treat for street art aficionados, and a real eye-opener for those who are convinced that the medium begins and ends with graffiti tags.

The exhibition runs until Oct 31, after which the building will be closed and evacuated before its destruction in November.