If you would like to get to know the more urban side of Sète, you can do so by visiting the ever-open MaCO museum. This abbreviation stands for Musée à Ciel Ouvert and literally means ‘Open-air Museum’. Thus, its collection consists of various pieces of graffiti that are scattered around the town centre and beyond. So, take a closer look and discover Sète’s hidden gallery around every street corner.
Once a year in spring, the vibrant harbour town of Sète is the stage for the multidisciplinary artistic K-LIVE festival. Leading urban art artists celebrate sea, art and sound, and the festival always ends with a concert on the epic stage of the Théâtre de la Mer overlooking the sea (not in 2020 though, due to the COVID-19 pandemic). The organisers of K-LIVE also wanted to turn Sète into a giant gallery and did so by setting up MaCO. As the urban art collection is out in the open, you can visit it all-year-round during a self-guided artistic walk.
Since 2008, the K-LIVE festival has been a major player in France’s street art movement. Every spring, K-LIVE takes over the city and you can watch new artwork being created right in front of you. Therefore, the MaCO collection grows every year, and now over 30 pieces of graffiti can be discovered throughout the town. However, some works might have disappeared already, as urban art only has a limited life. Natural elements and human contact eventually make the street art disappear over time. But that’s part of the beauty I think, as nothing lasts forever.
I started my MaCO visit at the tourist office, where I received a map with all the artwork marked. I mainly focused on the town centre, where I found the artwork of Bault, Julien Seth Malland, Philippe Baudelocque, Andrea Ravo Mattoni, Ratur & Sckaro, Alëxone and Sunra (as shown on the pictures). Funny how I have walked the streets of Sète before, without paying much attention to this open-air museum. MaCO really opened my eyes, took me by surprise and made me look at things differently!