Like a little air of the padlocks of Paris. In Seattle, in the northwestern United States, a wall of chewing gum from around the world has been a tourist attraction for over twenty years. Photographed daily by chewing contributors, it is included in the majority of tourist guides in the city. Since Tuesday, this emblematic place undergoes the thorough cleaning, the first since its creation. You can visit Seattle retaining walls for more detail.

Unofficially inaugurated in 1991, the “Gum Wall” would be borne by the only paganism of some visitors. As they waited to enter the improvisational theater in the alley, spectators would have begun to stick their chewing gum on the wall next to them. The practice gradually spread to other parts of the wall and eventually seduced passers-by and tourists. Thus would be born this substantial viscous monument.

This accumulation motivated the great cleaning in progress. “Just like you, all that sugar can be a problem for your bricks, uh, teeth,” says the wall itself on the Pike Place Market Facebook page. Not to mention that with each heat, the chewing gum takes the form of stalactites and sink to the ground. “From afar it may seem colorful, but when I get close, it disgusts me,” told AFP Emily Crawford, spokesman for the Pike Place Market. Behind these layers of chewing gum hides a vast number of microbes, according to the spokesperson.


On Tuesday, a team started the cleaning work. Armed with archers and rakes, these gum scrapers spray from boiling water (127 ° C) to take off the fruits of twenty years of chewing. The book was to last two or three days, depending on the speed of advancement, for a cost of 4000 dollars (3730 Euros). This participatory monument has already been partially cleaned up three times. But according to site managers, this is the first full stripping in twenty years.

Those chewing gum lovers can rest assured: this cleaning does not sign the end of the “Gum Wall.” “The Wall is a reflection of the art that is behind it, it is constantly changing thanks to the participation of the actors,” said the announcement of the cleaning Kent Whipple, Director Marketing, and Development of the improvisation troupe that works on site, in the Market Theater. “And, just like a good story of improvisation, it has a beginning, middle and an end. The wall is about to start a new story. We look forward to seeing this new incarnation, “he summed up. An enthusiasm confirmed by Emily Crawford, Pike Place market: “We expect that the” Gum Wall “will continue to live,” says the spokesman.