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Paris l'été
Photograph: Dan Acher

The Northern Lights will be recreated over Notre-Dame in Paris this summer

The laser installation is the among the highlights of the annual Paris L’Été festival

Ed Cunningham
Written by
Ed Cunningham

For a couple of days this summer, something very, very special is going to happen in Paris: the aurora borealis is going to beam over the city’s iconic Notre-Dame cathedral. Pretty damn cool, eh?

Now, we know what you’re thinking – isn’t Paris a little too far south for the Northern Lights? And yes, you’re right. The Northern Lights will be digitally recreated as part of an art installation by Swiss ‘artivist’ (yep, that’s a combo of ‘artist’ and ‘activist’) Dan Acher. It’s part of this year’s Paris L’Été festival.

While the festival runs from July 11 to 31, the Northern Lights will only appear over Notre-Dame on July 30 and 31. They’ll also only be visible at night (obvs) and will mostly consist of lots of fog and cool lasers, all set to music by the composer Guillaume Desbois. The ‘activist’ bit of the installation is that it’s supposed to highlight the effects of climate change by showing the absurdity of the aurora borealis being so far south as Paris.

The best bit, however, is that it’s all completely free and open to the public. On the two days, the display will begin at 10.30pm and last for two hours. If you’d like to find out more, there are more details on the festival website here.

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