Space Invader

Space Invader Chequered Past

all photos: NoLionsInEngland

Three or four years ago, I can’t recall precisely when, I spotted an Invader mosaic piece from a taxi as we swept through one of the higher back streets of Monaco. I didn’t have a camera on me and there was little sense in going back. On subsequent trips I brought a camera but the chequered Space Invader was no longer to be found at the spot where I thought I had seen it.

Earlier this week, I climbed up a steep and winding set of alleyway steps from the corner at Saint Devote and emerged into a back street to find the same Invader still there.

I was gobsmacked. It turned out that I had been looking for it ever since on a parallel street next block up the hill, a street with the same characteristics of a dropping sweeping downhill left handed corner, but I always went along the upper road, not this slightly lower one.

Monaco is a very sterile tightly controlled kind of community, not the sort of place I take much joy in visiting but there happens to be work there. I assumed that the zero tolerance of anything un-authorised by the prince suffered the obvious natural fate of illegal street art in this principality. So to find this cheeky little invader still intact now feels just incredible. A quick search on flickr located a photo of this piece dated June 2007 so it certainly has lasted longer than most of its London compadres.

The other reason like this is the very deliberate association it has with a chequered flag, who hasn’t heard of the famous grand prix, just about the only Formula One race a non petrol head like myself might bother watching. In the background of this picture, the left right avenue of trees is actually Boulevard Albert 1er which is the straightish start/finish straight for the grand prix, the pit line is just this side of the trees.

So, for its contextual referencing of Monaco’s most famous asset and the fact that it has somehow survived this long, I love this little (encore) find.

ps – photos by phone

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