Since the day I set foot in the catacombs of Paris and did a spot of research about the Parisian underground scene I have been fascinated by tales of what goes on deep in the labyrinth of alleys and dark cavities below the bustling surface of the city of lights. Last year I was intrigued when I discovered the story of how an elaborate secret cinema had been unearthed beneath the ancient buildings of the French capital. Today I have learnt more about the hidden network of artists known as UX that have made this subterranean patchwork of tunnels their playground and canvas for alternate film and the careful restoration of some of Europe’s oldest buildings, paintings and intricate objects. Although their work may be the result of thrill-seeking, it is certainly a labour of love and in my opinion very admirable. I only wish I had the opportunity of a sneak peek at even just one of these concealed corners of an ancient Parisian landmark.
Here is an extract from Jon Lackman’s well-written article with further information about the UX; An interesting read:
Thirty years ago, in the dead of night, a group of six Parisian teenagers pulled off what would prove to be a fateful theft. They met up at a small café near the Eiffel Tower to review their plans—again—before heading out into the dark. Lifting a grate from the street, they descended a ladder to a tunnel, an unlit concrete passageway carrying a cable off into the void. They followed the cable to its source: the basement of the ministry of telecommunications. Horizontal bars blocked their way, but the skinny teens all managed to wedge themselves through and ascend to the building’s ground floor. There they found three key rings in the security office and a logbook indicating that the guards were on their rounds.