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The adventure began in 2017 to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the foundation of the city and the port. Jean Blaise – the artistic director of Un Été Au Havre – grabbed this unique opportunity with both hands and imagined a spectacular anniversary celebration over several months, enjoyed by more than two million visitors.

Widely acclaimed by both locals and visitors and supported by public authorities and economic stakeholders, Un Été Au Havre has become a recurring event. Thus, in Le Havre, the summer season is the right time for a bold encounter with art, heritage, and culture, rejuvenated each year by the addition of new contemporary artworks that are displayed all over the city during Un Été Au Havre.

A permanent collection built up over the years and embellished each summer has gradually transformed the city into an open-air contemporary art exhibition accessible to all. 

The intervention of world-famous artists in the public space has a strong impact on the way people look at the city. Le Havre lures and seduces more and more visitors, coming to the city for Un Été Au Havre, but also to enjoy the seaside, festive, cultural, and sporting character of this often overlooked destination.

Lang / Baumann, Karel Martens, Vincent Ganivet, Fabien Mérelle, Stéphane Thidet, Rhys Chatham, Compagnie Carabosse, Royal de Luxe, Julien Berthier, Chiharu Shiota, Jace, Charlotte Roux, Henrique Oliveira, Erwin Wurm, Susan Philipsz...

Each artist brings his own vision to reveal the singularity and unique character of the city.


In 2020, despite the cancellation of the opening event and the fact some of the artists initially invited were confined when they could have produced their works, 18 artworks and monumental installations will still be visible in the public space.

Un Été Au Havre will take place from 11th July to 4th October. The visitors and locals will be able to see 18 artworks and installations spread all over the city, including 7 new ones. Un Été Au Havre is best enjoyed by following the 4 discovery tours, which are designed to guide visitors through the artworks and the most significant local heritage places, and help them discover the interesting tourist spots Le Havre has to offer.

Stephan Balkenhol, Alice Baude, Benedetto Bufalino, Rainer Gross, Claude Lévêque, Fabien Mérelle, and Antoine Schmitt will all add temporary artworks to the permanent collection.

The programme also includes 3 major exhibitions :

  • Nuits Electriques, at MuMa - André Malraux Museum of Modern Art > 3rd July to 1st November 2020 ;
  • Mrzyk & Moriceau – Never Dream of Dying, at Le Portique, Regional Contemporary Art Centre of Le Havre > 11th July to 27th September 2020 ;
  • EXHIBIT !, at Le Tetris, Contemporary music venue, to explore digital creation with Lawrence Malstaf and Alex Verhaest > 27th June to 6th September 2020.
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