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  • 2008/04/25
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Paris, 25 April 2008

During the renovation of its central head office at the Hôtel des Italiens, LCL has covered the scaffolding with a huge 650 m² canvas featuring a particularly original "trompe l'œil" painting of a chocolate bar.

LCL has decided to create an event at the historic site of its Paris head office at 19 boulevard des Italiens to mark the prestigious location.

The LCL brand - a newcomer to the French banking scene - is already recognised by 80 per cent of people in France two and a half years after it was launched. Echoing the successful launch of this new brand image - which has been accompanied by a complete overhaul of the company - the slogan "100% LCL" is featured in giant script, playing on the analogy with chocolate.

This spectacular painted canvas is an original design by the agency Athem. Residents of Paris and passers-by will be able to see it from 25 April until the end of July.

The Hôtel des Italiens
The building was constructed between 1876 and 1878 by architect William Bouwens Van Der Boijen. It was officially opened on 21 March 1878 in the presence of Léon Gambetta, then President of the Budget Commission of the French National Assembly. Designed as a central Paris branch, it became Crédit Lyonnais's administrative head office in 1882.
It is a typical example of late nineteenth-century architecture, with the aim of inspiring confidence among customers not used to entrusting their money to a bank. The central pavilion, which is undergoing restoration work, was inspired by the pavilions of the Louvre. The covered facade on Boulevard des Italiens is classified as a historical monument, as well as various interior features such as the staircase and windows.

Work in progress
Work is being carried out to refurbish the windows overlooking the atriums to ensure that they are watertight. The roof to the central pavilion is also being restored using blue-tinted Angers basin slate. On carrying out this work, the shield representing the coat of arms of the city of Lyon, which was originally displayed on the front of the pavilion, will be recreated using archive drawings and pictures. The original shield disappeared during previous restoration work in the 1950s.

More at: www.chocolat-bddesitaliens-lcl.com

About LCL:
Since joining the Crédit Agricole S.A. Group in 2003, LCL has focused the business of its nationwide retail banking network on individual, professional and SME customers in France.
LCL now has 22,200 employees and 2,064 branches serving some 6,000,000 individuals, 320,000 professionals and 25,000 SMEs.

About the designers of the canvas :
Design agency Athem specialises in the staging of business premises. Its main projects include the Louis Vuitton suitcases on the Champs-Elysées, the distorted building on Avenue George V and the current display at department store Printemps. In carrying out this project, Athem chose to work with graphic design agency Paragramme, which specialises in communications for institutional and public organisations, including editorial, design and graphics.

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