In 1978 the council of Paris decided they wanted a few more fountains in Paris, with contemporary art. In 1981 a commision was given to sculptors Jean Tinguely and his wife Niki de Saint Phalle to create a fountain for the square behind the Centre Pompidou and it was opened in 1983.
They were inspired by the musical works of the Russian composer Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971) who became a French citizen in 1934.
They studied the place of the fountain for over a year, looking at the light and the atmosphere of it. The sculptors needed to create a balance with the front of the Centre Pompidou where so much is happening with all the artists and perfomances, and they needed to find a balance between their own characteristic works with Tinguely working mainly in black and white and Saint Phalle in bright colours.
Well, all I can say is that they managed to create a great fountain. I love coming here, to sit on one of the benches next to the fountain and look at the people or the children playing. And I always leave feeling happier than I did when I arrived.