Art gone wild: France's sprawling sculpture park
The last place you'd expect to find a million dollar piece by Keith Haring is a forest.
But a new sculpture park in the South of France is asking visitors to take a walk on the wild side.
The recently opened Le Domaine de Muy, which features 34 large-scale sculptures from new and established artists, is in the middle of the Bonne Eau Valley, known for its large stretches of dry land, hills and pine trees.
At a vast 20 acres, it can only be accessed via the motorway for anyone coming in from Monaco, Marseille, Aix-en-Provence, St. Tropez and Nice, the nearest areas to the park.
Edward Mitterand, great-nephew of France's former President François Mitterand, is the park's art director and says Le Domaine de Muy will be a different experience for sculpture lovers and collectors who can visit the private park from May to October every year.
"If you google sculpture parks, you will see mainly large estates that are usually quite well maintained and the pieces are there in a sense, to decorate the nature. I mean it's quite beautiful," he explains.
"In our condition, the nature is very dry, it's very wild in a way, and we wanted to leave this nature to stay the way it is.
"And so we wanted to keep the nature as untouched as possible. I think it brings something new in the sense that you get a different impression than you would have of other sculpture parks."
He adds that the park has an architectural theme and each piece was chosen according to how its structure would fit in with the environment.
"We wanted the pieces to have an impact on the nature, and to try and leave a strength inside a huge piece of very wild land which has been unspoiled, with works of art which have enough architectural strength to hold their space," he says.
"You have the impression that these pieces have simply been placed there by helicopter, because you have nothing other than the nature and the works of art around, so there's a kind of brutal relationship."
Domaine du Muy has been in the making since 2013 as a private collection for Edward's father Jean-Gabriel Mitterand, a veteran sculpture dealer who has run art gallery Galerie Mitterand in Paris since 1988.
The artworks were selected in collaboration with Swiss Curator Simon Lamunière and were acquired from other galleries or lent to the park by private collectors.
Visitors will get to walk along a 2-kilometer trail to the works. They have been placed in different locations across the land, with some pieces even going up into the hills.
The park will also include a house and gardens, to be completed by 2016.