• Le Havre



The A Summer in Le Havre adventure began in 2017 to mark the celebration of the 500th anniversary of the founding of the city and port. This grandiose anniversary, celebrated over several months, welcomed more than two million visitors.

The event had a resounding impact on the region: the artistic spirit won over the inhabitants, traders, students and, of course, the simply curious, who discovered this seaside destination with its unique charm. Widely acclaimed, A Summer in Le Havre has become a recurring event. As such, in Le Havre, the summer season is the time for an ambitious rendez-vous with art, heritage and culture, revitalised each year by new works of contemporary art that A Summer in Le Havre places in the public space from the end of June to mid-September.

Over the course of the various editions, a permanent collection has been built up, which is further expanded each summer, gradually transforming the city into an open-air contemporary art exhibition, accessible to all. Great artists of international renown have left their mark... So much so that over 6 editions, some of these works are now inseparable from the identity of Le Havre in the collective imagination: UP#3, Catène de Containers...

…Stephan Balkenhol,Emma Biggs,Pierre Delavie, Lorène Dengoyan,Evor, Vincent Ganivet,Jace, Mark Jenkins,Izumi Kato, Laura Kopf, Klara Kristalova,Lang/Baumann, Henrique Oliveira, Stéphane Thidet, Erwin Wurm...

Thanks to this artistic intervention in the public space by artists, the view that some had of the city has changed. Le Havre attracts and appeals to a large audience, who come to enjoy A Summer in Le Havre and marvel at the seaside, festive, cultural, architectural and sporting character of this often overlooked destination.

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

Gaël Charbau takes over from Jean Blaise as artistic director for the 2023 to 2026 seasons.


The Public Interest Group (PIG) A Summer in Le Havre was created to run this major event launched in 2017. It brings together four founding members: the City of Le Havre, the Le Havre Seine Métropole Urban Community, HAROPA – Port of Le Havre, and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) Seine Estuary. Other associate members wished to join the Normandy region, the department of Seine-Maritime and the University of Le Havre Normandy. This grouping is a strong message illustrating the political will to take part in the development and influence of the region.


Mayor of Le Havre,
President Le Havre Seine Métropole,
President of the Public Interest Group A Summer in Le Havre


Director of the Public Interest Group A Summer in Le Havre since 2019, succeeded Thomas Malgras, Director of the PIG A Summer in Le Havre from 2014 to 2019


Artistic director of A Summer in Le Havre from 2017 to 2022

Gaël Charbau

Artistic director of A Summer in Le Havre from 2023

Editorial 2023

Le Havre has established itself as a major tourist city. And we’re proud to continue to transform it to amaze the people who have lived here for several generations, as well as the curious who come to visit.

Openness to the world and the arts is in its DNA. From its foundation by François I to the inclusion of its city centre as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a sedimentation of artistic influences, architectural works and contemporary creations has given it its unique character. Claude Monet invented Impressionism here. Auguste Perret defined the golden number of modern architecture here. In 2017, two million visitors enjoyed the festivities to celebrate the city’s 500th anniversary. In 2022, we broke our tourist attendance records: from Saint Joseph church to the MuMa, from the show apartment to the “catène des containers”, our monuments attract a large, varied, devoted audience.

A Summer in Le Havre, whose artistic direction has just been entrusted to Gaël Charbau, forms part of this ambition: to give citizenship to original works designed to transfigure our urban space. From the beach to our public places, they come into our hearts and our daily lives by appealing to young children as well as specialists in contemporary art.

Popular and avant-garde, A Summer in Le Havre reflects the image of our city: unique, lively and constantly reborn.


Mayor of Le Havre,
Président of the Le Havre Seine Métropole Métropole urban community,
President of PIG A Summer in Le Havre


Maire du Havre,
Président Le Havre Seine Métropole,
Président du Groupement d’Intérêt Public
Un Été Au Havre


Le Havre s’est imposé comme une grande cité touristique. Et nous sommes fiers de continuer à la transformer pour surprendre celles et ceux qui l’habitent depuis plusieurs générations comme les curieux qui s’apprêtent à la visiter.

L’ouverture au monde et aux arts appartient à son ADN. Depuis sa fondation par François Ier jusqu’à l’inscription de son centre-ville au patrimoine mondial de l’UNESCO, une sédimentation d’influences artistiques, d’œuvres architecturales et de créations contemporaines lui donne son caractère unique. Claude Monet y inventa l’impressionnisme. Auguste Perret y définit le chiffre d’or de l’architecture moderne. En 2017, deux millions de visiteurs se laissaient embarquer par les festivités des 500 ans de la ville. En 2022, nous avons battu nos records de fréquentation touristique de l’église Saint-Joseph au MuMa, de l’appartement témoin à la catène des containers, nos monuments attirent un public nombreux, varié, conquis.

Un Été Au Havre, dont la direction artistique vient d’être confiée à Gaël Charbau, s’inscrit dans cette ambition : donner droit de cité à des œuvres originales conçues pour transfigurer notre espace urbain. De la plage à nos places publiques, elles s’invitent dans nos cœurs et dans nos quotidiens en arrêtant le tout jeune enfant comme le spécialiste d’art contemporain.

Populaire et avant-gardiste, Un Été Au Havre est donc à l’image de notre ville unique, vivante et toujours renaissante.

Gaël Charbau

Artistic Director of Un Été Au Havre
since 2023

Editorial 2023

Deeply committed to the issue of transmitting culture for all audiences, I’ve worked for more than a year-and-a-half to create new avenues, new approaches, new surprises that will be revealed over the next 4 seasons of the event.

Beyond an "art route through the city", I wanted art itself to travel through the city and cross it like an adventure. Let it transcend the border between private and public spaces, extend to new regions and delicately spill over into the summer season.

"Metamorphoses", the laboratory of urban forms, where many stakeholders come and give us their vision of art in the city of tomorrow, is the first gathering in February. Continuing the many experiences of previous editions, the coming seasons will reveal all the fields artists are involved in today. They will show us that art in the public space can enlighten us about the omnipresence of digital technologies in our daily lives, bring video art to light where we least expect it, and increase the opportunities to encounter art, from painting and sculpture to fashion and the performing arts.

The artists will help us perceive this common language of the city, this energy which brings us together because it relates to everyone, whatever their background. Thus inspired, the city isn’t just the setting for our daily lives, but the constantly renewed possibility of transforming itself and looking towards the worlds of tomorrow.