ARTS & CULTURE
06/03/2014 05:28 pm ET Updated Jun 03, 2014

Street Artist Gives The Pantheon In Paris A Face-Lift

The Pantheon in Paris just got a major makeover.

The mausoleum, home to some of France's greatest icons, will feature the faces of ordinary folk while the landmark undergoes extensive restorations. Inspired by an art project that incited global participation, the French government commissioned photographer and street artist JR to create a mosaic for the temporary redesign.

"Those resting here risked their lives. The great men of tomorrow are perhaps among these portraits," JR told French newspaper 20 Minutes.

JR is the brain behind Inside Out, a participatory art project staged around the world and featuring poster-sized self-portraits. Drawing from that idea, JR created a website so anyone could upload photos of their faces in order to take part in the Pantheon project. He also photographed participants in a portable photo booth around Paris during the month of March.

The artist then narrowed down thousands of portraits by quality, choosing only the most expressive models. For the final installation, JR installed 4,160 anonymous faces on the scaffolding on the exterior of the landmark, and within the mausoleum itself.

Check out photos of the new faces within the interior Paris Pantheon, below.

  • MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images
    People visit the exhibition "Au Pantheon!" by French photographer JR at the Pantheon in Paris, a secular temple which contains the remains of distinguished French citizens, on June 3, 2014. The Centre des Monuments Nationaux has chosen to commission contemporary artist JR to create a participatory work inspired by his INSIDE OUT project.
  • MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images
  • MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images
  • MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images
  • MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images
    French photographer JR poses during his exhibition "Au Pantheon!" at the Pantheon in Paris, a secular temple which contains the remains of distinguished French citizens, on June 3, 2014.
  • MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images
  • MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images
    A photo by French photographer JR is displayed on the roof of the Pantheon in Paris, a secular temple which contains the remains of distinguished French citizens, on June 3, 2014, during the exhibition "Au Pantheon."
  • MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images

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