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“Little Paris” in Odessa


There are a lot of different copies of the Eiffel Tower all over Ukraine, which was noticed by photographer Aleksandr Popenko and made up into a photo project.


“Little Paris is a photo project in which the author explores the appearance of famous European landmarks in Ukrainian cities. Most notably the Eiffel Tower. The record city for the number of towers in public space is Odessa.

The French symbol appears everywhere: from the design of coffee shops and photo wallpapers to real small copies among streets, residential complexes, universities.

At first, the attention of Alexander Popenko, the author of the project, was attracted by the tower in Vinnitsa. For a long time, its construction was frozen – a scandal erupted around the facility. The public was against bad taste in the city, but in the end “beauty won” – the tower was completed.

Ekaterinenskaya square
“Le Petit Paris” Tower

According to Alexander, when he began to study this phenomenon more deeply, he realised that for years he passed by and did not pay attention to the “elements of Paris” – he treated them like ordinary visual rubbish. The photographer continues to collect pictures and asks followers on social networks to share locations.

Eiffel Tower in Pasage, Odessa

Odessa can be called a record holder in the number of uses of the image of the Eiffel Tower in public space.

Alexander Popenko
Korolyova street, Odessa
Photo: Aleksandr Popenko

The first in the collection of the photographer was the tower in the residential complex “French Quarter” in Kyiv – it is located in a closed area, so the security of the complex interferes with a closer look.

Alexander still finds it difficult to say exactly how many Eiffel Towers there are in Ukraine. On his map – about 70, the photographer called them a system of “antennas” that receive signals of well-being straight from Paris.

French boulevard mural, Odessa
Photo: Aleksandr Popenko

Some of these towers are handicrafts, kitsch decorations that people make near their home, cafe, university or shopping center, sincerely believing that it is beautiful. For example, when I was filming a tower near the entrance in Kyiv, a woman came out and said that sometimes in the evening, when she was in a good mood, she turned on a garland on this tower. Although I also began to find some beauty in it. At least in combination of this image with the Ukrainian post-Soviet landscape

Aleksander Popenko
Korolyova street, Odessa
Photo: Aleksandr Popenko

The appearance of the towers is often accompanied by publications in the local media, sometimes they are devoted to TV stories. For the construction of some, budget money is spent – for example, on the establishment of the Eiffel Tower near the Zhytomyr Polytechnic, you can find tender documents for Prozorro. According to the photographer, this tower is one of the best for him: it is very high – 25.3 meters, it was decorated with ornaments of Ukrainian embroidered shirts, and it also complements the Soviet mosaic.