Cultural Olympiad: art takes centre stage at the Paris Games

In the heart of the Palais Royal in Paris, the L'Oubliée company is rehearsing its show "Horizon", to be performed during the Cultural Olympiad (image of the rehearsals).

The Olympic and Paralympic Games are not just about sport, far from it! On the initiative of Baron Pierre de Coubertin, cultural events have accompanied each Olympic Games for over a hundred years. Art competitions have been held as far back as 1948. The Paris Games are no exception, with several hundred cultural events taking place throughout France before and during the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Between now and the end of the summer of 2024, musicians, dancers, actors, photographers and visual artists will take over a number of cultural, natural and sports sites. Hundreds of events open to all are planned in metropolitan France and its overseas territories. They'll be a great way to share the Olympic spirit with the public as they await the athletes' performances.

A number of iconic venues such as the Halle de la Villette, the Opéra Garnier in Paris, the Château de Versailles and the Mucem in Marseille, in Provence, will host renowned artists and young talents. From the choreographers Mourad Merzouki and Raphaëlle Boitel to Bartabas.

Cultural events not to be missed

The Olympic year will have several cultural events, beginning with the European Heritage Days.

The 2023 edition is coming up on the 16th and 17th of September, and it will put the spotlight on sporting heritage. Visits and shows are scheduled in stadiums, swimming pools, and racecourses. They will also take place in several cultural locations, including the nave of the Musée d'Orsay, where a tightrope artist will perform.

In spring 2024, the Olympic torch relay will offer a chance to appreciate art performances at different regions and tourist spots it passes through, like the ramparts of Carcassonne in Occitanie or the bay of Mont-Saint-Michel in Normandy.

Whether they're budding artists or future athletes, young people will be at the heart of the Cultural Olympiad. From April to June, the Children's and Young People's Olympic Games will feature exhibitions and events for young audiences in museums and cultural centres, as well as community projects and the "danse des jeux", a choreography created by Mourad Merzouki and taught in schools.

Then, from 21 to 23 June, it's the turn of the amateur artists to put on a show for the Amateur Olympics: an extended music festival to warm up and practise before the arrival of the first athletes and the Opening Ceremony a month later.

To the delight of spectators, the festivities will continue during the Olympic competitions and throughout the summer, with works of art exhibited in public spaces and various performances such as musicians on bicycles...