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Damien Weiss, Sculpteur de Guignol
Marionnette du Musée Gadagne
Mur des Marionnettes, Musée Gadagne
Marionnette du Musée Gadagne ©

Guignol has a huge smile and sparkling eyes

Damien Weiss, 14th of October, 2011



Damien Weiss, Sculptor for the Maison Guignol Theatre

Guignol is always cheerful: the kind of person who spreads a smile wherever he goes.

What does Guignol represent?

He represents the unpretentious and down-to-earth spirit of the people ofLyon. Guignol is always cheerful: the kind of person who brings a smile wherever he goes. And when it comes to smiles, he has a huge one with sparkling eyes looking out at you. He's a great ambassador for the city, and very popular even outside the area.


How do you carve your puppets?

By working in a very traditional way, using genuine wood: the lime tree.

This work is all done by hand, using traditional tools. As a result, every item is unique. Special care is taken for all the puppets I produce for the Maison Guignol Theatre.

Do you have any unusual sculptures?

Yes, there are models of Paul Bocuse, our world renowned chef and Best Worker of France, Gérard Collomb, the Mayor of Lyon, Jean-Michel Aulas, the chairman of the Olympique Lyonnais football club and Monseigneur Barbarin, the Archbishop of Lyon.

In your view, how did Guignol come into being?

He was created by Laurent Mourguet, that much is certain. His history dates back more than 200 years.

Guignol is a poverty-stricken lad fromLyon. He tries to get by, but always fails. He has bad luck ("guigne" in French, hence his name “Guignol”).


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