Monday, November 26, 2007

Untergunther to the rescue

Guerrilla clockmakers fix Paris landmark's clock

There´s a gentle touch of an Umberto Eco novel in this charming story about a group of Undercover restorers who fixed the 150 year old clock of the Pantheon: "It seems a team of clockmakers broke into the Pantheon in Paris in September 2005 and spent a year fixing the historic and neglected clock, which had been abandoned by the authorities. They were prosecuted for breaking in, but have just been cleared of the charges in court. The group, "Untergunther" have a catalogue of subterranean lo-jinks to their name."
Klausmann and his crew are connaisseurs of the Parisian underworld. Since the 1990s they have restored crypts, staged readings and plays in monuments at night, and organised rock concerts in quarries. The network was unknown to the authorities until 2004, when the police discovered an underground cinema, complete with bar and restaurant, under the Seine. They have tried to track them down ever since.

But the UX, the name of Untergunther's parent organisation, is a finely tuned organisation. It has around 150 members and is divided into separate groups, which specialise in different activities ranging from getting into buildings after dark to setting up cultural events. Untergunther is the restoration cell of the network.

more here and here


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