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Paris, it is probably fair to say, is well known for its culinary grandeur. A long weekend in the French capital will bring you into contact with all manner of superb restaurants.
But even the average Parisian will probably raise a chic eyebrow at the fantastical creation that has taken shape in the window of an upmarket boutique – a colossal chocolate tree which comes complete with a team of resident monkeys.
This 5m creation is the work of expert chocolatier Patrick Roger – and is currently the star attraction at his flagship store on the central Place de la Madeleine, which sits just north of the Place de la Concorde.
An astonishingly ornate piece of confection, the sculpture was made using five tons of chocolate – and it’s edible.
It has also been constructed without recourse to structural support – meaning the entire thing is as fragile as you would expect an artwork built from sugar and cocoa to be.
“It’s very risky,” Roger explains. “Yesterday, we carried a monkey [into position] and it crumbled completely.”
There is, however, a serious ecological point to Roger’s work – which is designed to draw attention to the plight of African wildlife, at threat from human encroachment.
“If tomorrow I manage to save two monkeys, I can maybe save 100 hectares,” he explains.
“There’s a large part of my work that depends on vegetation. So it’s really this image that’s very important to me.” – Daily Mail