Exceptional Convoy Transport of Monumental Sculpture: Karel Appel’s “Le Poisson” at the LAAC Dunkirk

18 December 2023
Manutention et transport en convoi exceptionnel de sculpture monumentale

Our agency, Bovis Fine Art Nord, located in Lille (59), recently undertook a significant and intricate task: the exceptional convoy transport of a monumental sculpture to the LAAC Dunkirk.

The work, titled “Le Poisson,” is by the Dutch artist Karel Appel (1921-2006). What sets it apart are its extraordinary dimensions—4.55m in length, 3.76m in height, and 1.66m in depth. This monumental stainless steel painted sculpture weighs a staggering 2 tons!

Immerse yourself in the fascinating details of the precision and expertise displayed by our teams throughout the meticulous round-trip operations.

The Challenge of Movement

In August 2023, Bovis Fine Art Nord successfully executed the delicate task of handling the monumental sculpture in the gardens of the LAAC. The undertaking required meticulous planning and expert execution, especially considering the restricted access to the gardens, a challenge met successfully by our experienced teams.

Complex Transport in an Exceptional Convoy

To accomplish this operation, we deployed significant human and material resources: a team leader, two riggers, and two heavy-duty truck drivers maneuvering a truck equipped with a 90t/m telescopic crane arm and a low-loader semi-trailer.

Our team overcame obstacles, including the delicate passage through a lock in Dunkirk with a height limit of 4.80m—a logistical feat that ensured the secure transfer of the artwork to Damen’s warehouses in Dunkirk for restoration.

Meticulous Restoration

The restoration took several months to restore the monumental sculpture to its former glory. Once the artwork was restored and repainted, special care was taken to protect the lifting and rigging points of the sculpture for its reinstallation in the gardens of the LAAC Dunkirk.

Reinstalling the Sculpture in the Museum Gardens

In late November 2023, the restored artwork reclaimed its place in the gardens of the LAAC Dunkirk. A symbolic moment marking the end of this complex operation and the beginning of a new chapter for this iconic piece.

Thanks to their expertise in delicate handling, Bovis Fine Art Nord’s team overcame every challenge, ensuring the flawless movement of Karel Appel’s artwork. A successful operation that reflects our commitment to excellence in every service.

Learn More About the LAAC Dunkirk

The Lieu d’Art et Action Contemporaine (LAAC) in Dunkirk is a dynamic cultural hub, offering an immersive dive into the world of contemporary art. Since its inauguration in the early ’80s, the LAAC has established itself as a true incubator of creativity, showcasing avant-garde artistic expressions. This iconic venue houses a rich and diverse collection spanning painting, sculpture, and innovative multimedia installations. Beyond its galleries, the LAAC stands out for its outdoor spaces, such as its gardens, where contemporary sculptures engage in dialogue with the surrounding nature. The museum is committed to creating engaging artistic experiences, with bold temporary exhibitions pushing the boundaries of creativity. The LAAC embodies a vibrant space where contemporary art and action converge, captivating an audience eager for new artistic discoveries.

Learn More About the Artist, Karel Appel

Born in 1921 in the Netherlands, Karel Appel remains a prominent figure in 20th-century contemporary art. A co-founder of the experimental CoBrA movement in 1948, Karel Appel left an indelible mark with his bold creativity and spontaneous approach to artistic creation. His works, characterized by vibrant colors, organic forms, and raw energy, reflect his desire to capture the essence of free expression. Karel Appel ventured into various artistic media, from painting to monumental sculpture, and his creations have been exhibited in prestigious institutions worldwide. Despite his passing in 2006, his influence persists in the world of contemporary art, where his innovative spirit continues to inspire new artists and fascinate art enthusiasts seeking authentic visual experiences