The inflatable polar bears – positioned over air vents and street grates to make them move – are the work of the French street artist known simply as Olivier.
As the capital broiled in an unprecedented heatwave, the artist created the unseasonal visitors to draw attention to climate change.
Just a couple of Parisians trembling in the #HEATWAVE2019 ! French street artist Olivier has put 65 of these polar bears around the capital this week as another reminder of the climate crisis. #canicule pic.twitter.com/q7p0ihuJ86
— Alison Sargent (@sargentali) July 25, 2019
The artist told French newspaper Le Parisien that he wanted to “use poetry to make people accept reality: that the climate is changing”.
Olivier, 50, is well known for creating inflatables as part of his street art, his previous collections have included the Elef de la Goutte d'Or – a collection of fantastical creatures scattered throughout Paris' 18th arrondissement, where he lives.
“I have already installed about 500 animals: giraffes, elephants. They attract people. Residents, mothers, police officers, drug addicts, homeless people start talking together,” he added.