Project Description

Monumental automaton clock embedded in the facade of the International Puppet Institute (“International Institute for Puppetry” – 8 place Winston Churchill at Charleville-Mézières).

From 10 am to 9 pm, the Great Puppeteer presents an Ardennes legend – The Four sons of Aymon – in a series of 12 tableaux. On the hour, after the 3 knocks and the opening music, the Great Puppeteer gives the time. The curtains open and the first setting appears. The puppeteer tells you the story while his hands operate the marionettes. The show ends with a closing music and the curtain shutting. A few minutes after the show, everything is automatically reorganized to be operational again for the following hour. The very impressive machinery is visible from inside the Ardennes Museum. The Great Puppeteer’s eyes uninterruptedly sweep the museum yard by a very slow rotation of his head.

  • Height: approx. 10m (32.80 ft)
  • Weight: approx. 5 tons
  • Operated with pneumatic actuators and cam programmers
  • The 12 different settings (100 kg / 15.74 stones each) move on treadmills and roller tables
  • Activation by radio controlled master clock Sound produced by CD player
  • Electronically–synchronized talking head.

See the construction backstage

Read also (in french) on the story by Gérard Guilbaud on the Great Puppeteer.