Wallonia prides itself on the Arc Majeur, the world's tallest sculpture
A monumental work of art and technical feat spans the E411 motorway in Lavaux-Sainte-Anne near Rochefort, in the province of Luxembourg. At the same time, it is a tribute to Walloon expertise in the areas of steel processing and civil engineering.
Bernard Venet, internationally renowned 78-year-old French sculptor, came up with the idea for this project as early as the mid-1980s. It was initially intended to be built along the motorway near the French town of Auxerre but, for a number of reasons, it was put on hold. Until 2014, when Cockerill CMI in Seraing and the Walloon Region appeared to be enchanted by this gigantic steel arch.
Or rather, arches. The long arch is 60 m high, consists of three sections, each 20 m long and 2.25 m thick; the short arch is 20 m tall and consists of one equally long and thick section. The whole construction weighs 200 tonnes. It must be stable, able to withstand its own weight, resist the effects of metal fatigue and be able to withstand earthquakes and gusts of up to 200 km/hr.
Ten partners have spent several thousands of hours on the design, realisation, transport and assembly on site. But the result is a great feat for Wallonia, of which the region is right to be proud.