Top French Cities - Lille3000: Eldorado - a great contemporary art fest in 2019

Lille3000 - Eldorado
Lille3000 - Eldorado
Yayoi Kusama, Infinity Mirrored Room
Press release

What is lille3000?

Lille3000 is an association born after 2004, the year Lille achieved considerable success as European Capital of Culture. In several ways, the ECoC had a profound positive impact on the city of Lille, its greater metropolitan area, and the Eurodistrict in terms of image, tourism, economic growth, accessibility to culture, and more.

Lille3000 capitalized on this success and has kept the momentum, organizing occasional major events as well as sustainable, large scale cultural "seasons" every three years. Their objective is to explore and question the complexities of the future, including the economy, city living, and how cities will evolve. The roles of spirituality and technology are other recurrent themes in their approach.

An Eldorado for the greater good

Eldorado is lille3000's fifth thematic edition, after Lille Bombaysers (2006), Europe XXL (2009), Fantastic (2012) and RENAISSANCE (2015). According to lille3000's official website, "Eldorado seeks to be a movement that highlights the qualities upon which the wealth of our region is built: its inhabitants and their ability to invent new models for living together better, its companies who are innovating to create a new economy, and the close network of ties between artists, researchers and citizens." This ongoing project encourages individual and collective initiatives, sharing and experimentation with human contact and living spaces.

A quest through the eyes of artists

The myth of Eldorado (from the Spanish "the golden one") has existed for over 400 years, fueling treasure hunts and expeditions around the world in search of a fabled South American region believed to be abundant in gold and precious stones. Lille3000's own take on Eldorado is a quest for an ideal that is within reach of everyone.

From April 27 to December 6, 2019, Eldorado's focus will be on the pre-Hispanic and contemporary traditions of Mexico. Rich in magic and culture, Mexico was chosen to be in the spotlight notably because 2019 marks the 500th anniversary of the country's conquest by Hernàn Cortés.

Lille3000 is inviting visitors to discover new worlds as well, via a sun-filled spring/summer program featuring over 500 events in Lille and more than 80 neighboring towns. These include opening festivities, urban metamorphoses, and major exhibits at emblematic venues like the Tripostal and Gare Saint Sauveur. Artists from Mexico and the world are preparing insightful installations and shows in outdoor spaces, balls on public squares, and in gardens, which will be livened up by lights, fireworks, debates, design, and new technology.

Work for the opening ceremony is already underway, with the public involved in creating alebrijes, traditional wooden statues representing animals and fantastic creatures paraded during Mexico's Day of the Dead celebrations. A street art circuit will be part of the metamorphosis with muralists like Oaxaca collective Tlacolulokos adorning cities in colorful indigenous figures and pre-Hispanic symbols. There will be plenty of representations of myths and dragons, violence and hope, Aztec temples, superheroes, utopic gardens, and exhibits touching on borders and migration, notably the current situation for Mexicans in the USA. July 20th, 2019 also marks the 50th anniversary of man's first step on the moon, a quest also celebrated during Eldorado.

About Top French Cities –

Top French Cities is an association of 29 cities, from regional capitals like Bordeaux to important towns like Avignon and Versailles. They are perfect for young travelers, families and anyone else looking for fun and authentic French experiences that will fit their budget. Most of these cities are university towns with a youthful atmosphere, but all of them reflect the heritage and distinctive flavors of the regions to which they belong. Many are forward-looking too, with historic buildings repurposed to house contemporary art and activity centers like Les Docks in Marseille. Many have created or integrated new, modern museums to contrast with their classical, architectural heritage, like in Nimes, where the cutting-edge Museum of Roman Civilization (Musée de la Romanité) is located across from the historic Roman amphitheater, or in Nantes, where whimsical mechanical creatures are being created, or in the UNESCO World Heritage Site concrete city of Le Havre.


Marion Fourestier
ATOUT FRANCE – France Tourism Development Agency
(212) 745-0963/67