minotaur The Guardian of the Temple
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(Credit: Arnaud dlg)

Watch a giant robo-spider lead 46-ton mecha minotaur through French streets

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Nov 5, 2018, 3:04 PM EST

Well, here’s something you don’t see on city streets every day… thank the Gods! Over the weekend, folks in Toulouse, France’s fourth largest city, were caught up in a massive web of street theater that saw a giant robotic spider in a citywide dance with a monstrous wood and metal mecha minotaur.

As directed by Toulouse native and art-mecha vet François Delarozière and presented by his La Machine Compagnie company, “The Guardian of the Temple” show was a massive four-day spectacle that featured the Labyrinth-like city as the setting for a reinterpretation of the myth of Ariane.

In 1993, excavations revealed the foundations of Capitole de Toulouse, an ancient temple, within which they found a stone inscribed in the Etruscan language. After 25 years, researchers concluded that the stone revealed a prophecy, which also laid the foundations for the massive show.

According to toulouse-visit.com, the show was based on the following prophecy: "Toulouse marked by gold, fire, blood and water, will see its temple disappear. Its guardian buried underground will remain. When the day breaks upon the temple at last discovered, he will need fifty equinoxes to return to life. Protector of the city, he will be reborn via the waters of the river, thanks to the new blue moon. Wandering in search of the temple, lost in the heart of the Labyrinth, only the metamorphosed Ariane will guide him towards his new home."

Ariane is the spider in this prophecy; the minotaur, Astérion — all 46 tons of him — is the city’s guardian. We’re not sure what that makes the people underfoot.  

Besides parading around the city, the two behemoths also tangled for some choregraphed dance moves. The video above, published by Arnaud dlg, gives you an idea of not just the scale of the endeavor, but also the artistry involved, complete with multiple mecha-puppeteers, hovering live opera, and pyrotechnics!

The whole affair has cost the city a pretty penny… er, euro, to the tune of €2.4 million, with another €2 million coming from the show itself. And there's also €15 million alloted for La Halle de la Machine, a museum/workshop/event space for Delarozière's creations. But that seems like a small price to pay to be home to the world's largest mecha minotaur, right?

(via Venture Beat)