Muscat Daily - - BREAK -

High on a slop­ing hill­side in the Com­mune of Car­noet, in Brit­tany in north­west­ern France, a large scale project is un­der­way, one that hopes to cover the en­tire hill­side with a thou­sand gran­ite stat­ues rep­re­sent­ing the Saints of Brit­tany.

More than 7,000 Saints are ven­er­ated all over Brit­tany, although only a few are of­fi­cially recog­nised by the Ro­man Catholic Church. Some of them have left their marks on the re­gion while oth­ers stayed for less than a month as they passed through Brit­tany.

Through the ef­fi­gies of these Saints, the project aims to cel­e­brate and raise aware­ness of Brit­tany’s in­ter-celtic his­tory as well as re­flect on the im­por­tance of gran­ite in the Bret­ton land­scape and lo­cal econ­omy.

Started in 2008, the project has so far seen over sixty 3m tall stat­ues erected on the site do­nated by the mu­nic­i­pal­ity, which has ac­quired the mis­lead­ing name ‘the Val­ley of the Saints’, de­spite the site be­ing a hill.

Each statue on The Val­ley of the Saints is of a Saint linked with lo­cal leg­ends which in turn are a blend of Celtic, Gallo-Ro­man and Chris­tian cul­ture. Thanks to the va­ri­ety of artists in­volved in the project, each statue is unique in ap­pear­ance.

The project was ini­ti­ated by Bre­ton philoso­pher Philippe Ab­jean, and is funded en­tirely through do­na­tions by lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties and or­gan­i­sa­tions.

Any­body can spon­sor a statue, se­lect their own pa­tron saint and choose its lo­ca­tion on the hill­side. In ad­di­tion to this, given the pur­pose of the project, most of the stat­ues erected so far were carved from im­ported Chi­nese gran­ite.

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