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Shamanic art by the indigenous Huichol people in Mexico provides a gateway to the spirit world, right in the Paris metro.
Leave Palais-Royal Musée du Louvre station and head towards the Carrousel du Louvre, where another world awaits you. The spirits do seem to be speaking in the 1997 mural created by shaman and artist Santos de la Torre Santiago. The work is composed of 80 panels, measuring 30 x 30 cm and covered in two million 2-millimeter beads.
It depicts major Huichol gods, ancestors, stars, and flora and fauna of Huichol lands in a horizontal triptych of the underground world, the earth and the sky. The artist and his family are Huichols, an indigenous community from Santa Catarina in the Mexican state of Jalisco. Life in this nearly inaccessible mountain region has enabled the Huichol people to protect their religious and social traditions, language, trades and customs.
The mural was made for the station as part of a partnership between the RATP and the Mexico City Metro. In exchange, a Guimard-style Art Nouveau entrance was installed at Bellas Artes station next to the opera house.