He’s known as “La Nomade d’Antibes.” But I just call him Nomad.
He is even more attractive than I imagined and he really doesn’t have a bad angle. He’s 8 meters high–that’s over 26 feet. I’m a sucker for a tall man.
He’s composed of random white stainless steel letters and occupies a prime piece of real estate, overlooking the Baie des Anges over to Nice, Cap Ferrat and beyond. He probably has one of the best views in Antibes. His view to the right is the old town of Antibes and Cap d’Antibes; his view to the left is Fort Carre and the alps (if he could turn his head). I can’t keep my eyes off him. But I’ve always had a thing for men of letters.
He hasn’t been in Antibes much longer than I have, so we’re both newcomers. He was erected in 2010, when Jaume Plensa, a Catalan artist, was commissioned to create a monumental sculpture that would grace the recently renewed Bastion Sainte Jaume (which has been around since the Greeks parked their boats here). It’s just a coincidence that the bastion and the artist share the same name.
Nomad is a controversial character. From the moment he was commissioned, he’s been a source of controversy and rage. It’s the typical anger you’d expect in a bad economy, when people are unemployed and having problems putting food on their tables. The naysayers considered the $500,000 price tag trop cher. But like the Transamerica building and the Eiffel tower, which also met with great resistance originally, Nomad is now an important part of the Antibes skyline and a tourist attraction. He’s here to stay. I think he looks quite dashing with the ancient town as a back drop.
I’ve always considered myself a bit of a nomad, so I kind of feel like we’re soulmates. It’s kind of romantic when you think about it: two nomads meet in the South of France and settle down together in Antibes.