L'Achat du cuivre

Christodoulos Panayiotou

  • Copper cathode, pump, water jet and garden hose
  • 110 x 110 x 0.5 cm
  • Courtesy of the artist, Kamel Mennour, Paris/London and Rodéo, London/Athens

L'Achat du cuivre (Price of Copper) is a fountain constructed from a copper cathode in its raw form, from the Skouriotissa copper mine in the region between Xeros and Cyprus. The extraction of copper is a dominant subject in the archaeological and political discourse of Cyprus (the name of the country even gave the name to the subject); Skouriotissa is considered to be the oldest active copper mine in the world and the centre of the flow of Cypriot history, from antiquity to the age of the workers' struggles in the twentieth century.  

Christodoulos Panayiotou is as interested in the history of copper as in the general attribution of a value system and makes reference to Bertolt Brecht's eponymous book, in which the purchase of a trumpet is negotiated at the price of metal. Here, it is the gap that exists between the raw material and the noble object, the natural element and the merchandise that makes the work of art. The fountain draws its water from the mines of Melle, but as soon as the water stops flowing, the piece goes back to being a product of mining, the pure metal. 

Placed in this underground lake of the mines of Melle, the fountain, a classic figure in the history of art, shows that what constitutes the identity of an object can increase its value. 


No access to people in wheelchairs or with reduced mobility

Visits depart every day at 10:30 am, 2:15 pm, 3:00 pm, 3:45 pm, 4:30 pm, 5:15 pm

From 1st to 30th September: Monday to Friday at 3pm

Weekends: 2.30pm and 4.30pm

Rue Pré du Gué, 79500 Melle


photo artiste Christodoulos Panayiotou

Christodoulos Panayiotou transforms the world into a theatre in which the myths that unite us are played out. From one enigma to another, his works reveal the hidden stories of the world, like a contemporary archaeology whose role would no longer be to tell history but to reformulate it.

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