Cahors. Michel Zachariou’s monumental clock stood the test of time

the essential
During this period of confinement, we take you to discover an emblematic place of Cahors. Today, the unusual ball clock on Place Saint-Urcisse.

For this second meeting on the heritage of Cahors, we go to Place Saint-Urcisse to observe the monumental ball clock, installed for twenty years.

Take the time to watch the one who passes… What a paradox in a society that is always chasing it! However, many tourists stop to observe and understand the mechanism of this strange machine. Sometimes perplexed, sometimes impressed, sometimes dreamers… One thing is certain, this creation does not leave the visitor speechless.

It was in 1997 that the monumental clock was inaugurated. More than twenty years already that it is installed on the place Saint-Urcisse, surrounded by medieval facades, the whole forming a mixture of old and modern. To blow out its twenty candles, almost four years ago, a ceremony was organized during Heritage Days.

Its creator, Michel Zachariou, is a sculptor living in the Lot. Born in 1942, it was around the age of 30 that he discovered sculpture. Since 1975, he has held numerous exhibitions, notably in Paris, Lausanne, but also in the Lot in Cahors or even in Goujounac where he was guest of honor at the 5th biennial of Goujoun’art in 2018. Some may know also its “inhabited walls” at the departmental hotel in Regourd and at the departmental library.

Two years of experimentation and trial and error

It took a little over two years for the sculptor to set up his monumental clock, after much experimentation and trial and error.

It works thanks to a horizontal balance system. A ball descends on one side, and causes the fall of another on the other side. 54 steel pinball balls weighing 80 grams each operate the clock. It is all this mechanism that makes it possible to provide energy to make it work.

According to the creator, the balls travel about the equivalent of a round the world trip in 800 days. We give you time to calculate the number of laps they have performed since they were put into operation …