The 2017 Tour de France starts in Düsseldorf, Germany, July 1. On July 2, the second part of the tour passes through the Neanderland. This area, after which the Neanderthal was named, will be showcased via a renowned French artist, Pierre Duc, with the help from students from Düsseldorf and Mettman. Pierre Duc is a “land artist”; to commemorate the tour de France in 2012 he and Thierry Gallibour created the image of a cyclist in a field made from various herbs, straw and wood, and the needle of the rear wheel clock was moving during the passage of the racers and helicopters.
The artists are building a giant Neanderthal wearing a cycling helmet with a speech bubble that says “Ich bin ein Neanderthaler. Et en plus, je parle français!” (I am a Neanderthal and I also speak French). He is supposed to be finished for the “grand départ”. The great work of art is 1,500 m² (16,145.86 ft² or 0.4 acres²) and will be visible from the air. The message is intended to express the importance of the place where the Neanderthals originated. It is also supposed to represent common origins and values, the joy of cycling, and the French influence of the area. The tour helicopters will be filming him and making him world famous. The event will be shown in over 190 countries, thus giving the region a once in a lifetime chance to be seen by the world.
The art can be seen in this German newspaper: