Arts: 350,000 francs: a Geneva municipality offers a statue of the Cat


Cologny decided to buy a work by Geluck. His administrative adviser Pascal Hornung explains the story of this crush.

It is this statue, “Le Chat au journal”, which was purchased by the municipality of Cologny.

Michael Pralong

After having seduced in Paris or Bordeaux, the giant statues of the Cat of Geluck caused a sensation in Geneva, attracting many curious people or fans of the Belgian comic book author. However, one of the works will return to the canton of the end of the lake and remain there: the municipality of Cologny bought it, for the tidy sum of 350,000 francs.

When the exhibition was over, Cologny had already prolonged the pleasure, by renting one of the statues and installing it in the middle of the roundabout on the road to Vandoeuvres. It was the bronze named “On the wire”. It is still there, until June 28. But the wealthy town therefore decided that its history with the Cat should be a long-term one and offered itself another statue, “The Cat in the Newspaper”.

Administrative adviser in charge of culture, Pascal Hornung had discovered the exhibition in Paris, before seeing it in Geneva. “I have followed Geluck’s work for a long time and I was really seduced”, he explains to us.

The statue attracts the curious

The Vandoeuvres road roundabout being used for temporary exhibitions, the idea of ​​placing a Chat de Geluck there had germinated. And as the planned destination for the statues after Geneva had been cancelled, it had been possible to rent one. “We started to see cars come and do several laps of the roundabout,” laughs Pascal Hornung.

The next step seemed almost logical: try to buy a statue. “In addition to the quality of the bronzes, we were seduced by the idea of ​​installing one in the public space, for the entire population. And as these statues are intended to finance the future museum of the Cat, in Brussels, we also found it interesting to participate, ”notes the elected official.

Even if some have already been sold, the 20 bronzes imagined by Geluck exist or will exist in two copies. Some were therefore still available and the choice fell on “Le Chat au journal”, with the big funny tomcat reading a daily newspaper.

Modified statue for Cologny

“Geluck came, took an interest in the places and even imagined two modifications. The newspaper will be lit from the inside and it will bear a mention of Cologny, ”says the administrative adviser.

But was the price, 350,000 francs, ever an obstacle? “We have a fund for the purchase of works of art, supplied each year if our finances allow it. And it turns out that we had the amount available, ”answers Pascal Hornung.

Concretely, the statue that will take its ease in Cologny does not yet exist. It should leave the Belgian foundries this summer and should be delivered to the end of the lake at the end of October or the beginning of November. It will be placed on the same roundabout as the current one and will remain there at least until Christmas.

“Then it will return to its final location. It’s not yet formally decided, but maybe near our library and our cultural center, since we’re talking about a Cat that reads. And this place sees a lot of children – an idea that Geluck likes”, comments Pascal Hornung.

The purchase of the statue was approved by City Council last month, by an overwhelming majority. Only a referendum, possible until June 22, can today prevent the love story between Cologny and the Cat. But it is purely formal: it does not seem that there is any sling against the arrival of bronze.

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