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In an amazing juxtaposition of old and new, French street artist JR has taken over an iconic 18th-century Paris monument, covering its ceiling, floor and cupola in a sea of black-and-white selfies.

Until 5 October, a collage of thousands of larger-than-life self-portraits will cover Neoclassical mausoleum Le Pantheon in the Latin Quarter, in which some of France’s most legendary figures – including Voltaire and Victor Hugo – are buried.

Le Pantheon Paris JR selfies
JR at the Pantheon. (Kim Laidlaw)

To create this installation called Au Pantheon – which is part of JR’s ongoing Inside Out Project – a photo booth truck travelled to nine national monuments throughout France in March this year, including the Towers of La Rochelle and Angers Castle, where more than 2,500 people had their photo taken. In addition to this, men, women and children from around the world uploaded their portraits to the project’s website allowing JR to create a final mosaic of 4,000 faces.

selfies Le Pantheon Paris JR
JR at the Pantheon. (Kim Laidlaw)

The work covers 3,000sqm of tarpaulin that is protecting the building during its current extensive renovation (due to be completed in February 2015), providing an added attraction for the around 700,000 people who visit each year.

Kim Laidlaw is the Paris Localite for BBC Travel. She also writes www.unlockparis.com.

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