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Transport / Mass transit

CityMetric Advent 23: Paris's gift-wrapped metro carriage

Last December, a group of artists gave Parisians the gift of a lifetime: a metro carriage wrapped in bright pink wrapping paper. A group of artists boarded a train on Paris’ metro line 8 and proceeded to the wrap seats, handrails, and even the floor and ceiling of one end the carriage in bright pink wrapping paper. 

Image: i>Télé.

It’s hard to imagine how they could have been any more thorough:

White papers from our partners

Image: Clea Polar and Gabriel Defrocourt. 

When asked by a local TV station why they did it, one of the artists said they simply wanted to “give commuters a smile in the morning” (and, presumably, get their brand out there – see the logos on the car’s windows, above). The transit authority, however, didn’t see it that way, and took the car out of service to remove every scrap of wrapping paper. Perhaps ironically, just days later, four lines were evacuated due to an asbestos scare: the wrapping paper may have been offensively bright, but at least it wasn’t life-threatening. 

According to CityLab, Sisaprod were keen to take the project further by a decorating an entire train in conjunction with the city’s metro authority. It doesn’t look like the RATP were keen, though: no such seasonal partnership has been forthcoming, and the metro trains remain sadly undecorated this year. 


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