Olympic Torch Relay Cauldron is lit by athletes ahead of Paris 2024

The Olympic Torch Relay Cauldron created by Mathieu Lehanneur for Paris 2024 was lit for the first time as the Torch Relay made its debut in Marseille on 9 May

The Olympic Torch Relay Cauldron lit during the ceremony in Marseille on 8 May 2024
French Ivorian former football player Didier Drogba lights the Olympic and Paralympic Torch Relays cauldron, designed by Mathieu Lehanneur with the Olympic Torch as part of the Olympic and Paralympic Torch Relays at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille on 9 May 2024
(Image credit: Sylvain Thomas/AFP via Getty Images)

The Olympic Torch Relay Cauldron for Paris 2024 made its debut in Marseille on 9 May: it was created by French designer Mathieu Lehanneur, who is also responsible for the Olympic Torch design. The Torch relay made its first stop in Marseille and will be illuminated by the final torchbearer at every stopover city leading up to the Olympic Games (26 July-11 August 2024) and Paralympic Games (28 August-8 September)

Paris 2024: Olympic Torch Relay Cauldron by Mathieu Lehanneur

The Torch Relay Cauldron lit during the ceremony in Marseille on 8 May 2024

The Olympic and Paralympic Torch Relays cauldron in Marseille on May 8, 2024. The transfer of the flame onshore from a 19th-century tall ship will mark the start of a 12,000-kilometre (7,500-mile) torch relay across mainland France and the country's far-flung overseas territories

(Image credit: Ludovic Marin/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

The Torch Relay Cauldron was created by Lehanneur in collaboration with ArcelorMittal, and serves as an object to kickstart the four month-long Olympic celebration in France. On 26 July 2024, the Torch Relay cauldrons will give way to the yet to be unveiled Olympic Cauldron at the opening ceremony for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

'The Torch, the Cauldron of the Flame Relay and the Olympic Cauldron are not separate objects, they are chapters in one great story,' says Lehanneur. 'Each embodies the spirit of the Paris Games. The cauldron takes the form of a ring of fire suspended above a liquid surface. Both pure and magical, it seems to float and is reflected in its metallic base. If the Torch carries the sacred fire from Olympia that is passed on, the cauldron is the object around which we gather, and which unites our energies.'

Olympic Torch Relay Cauldron by Mathieu Lehanneur

The Torch Relay Cauldron photographed at Mathieu Lehanneur's studio, Paris

(Image credit: Felipe Ribon)

Like the Olympic Torch, the Torch Relay Cauldron's design is inspired by water and formal purity. The Cauldron design features three supports holding a floating ring, nodding to the curved design of the Torch itself, and representing fraternity. 'Installed at the celebration venue in each of the Olympic and Paralympic Torch Relay stopover cities, the Paris 2024 cauldron invites people to come together, share and celebrate,' reads a note accompanying the announcement. 

The Torch Relay Cauldron's materials and colours also reference the Torch, as both are made in a combination of gold, silver and bronze, with a shiny finish on the lower sides and a matt finish on the upper elements. In collaboration with AncelOrmittal, the base was hydroformed (shaped by water) to convey the texture of the water, while the ring of the Torch Relay Cauldron was pierced with 260 holes to achieve the final circular blaze effect. 

Olympic Torch Relay Cauldron by Mathieu Lehanneur

(Image credit: Felipe Ribon)

'Each day, during the Torch Relay, the lighting of the cauldron by the last Torchbearer of the day will be a highlight,' says Tony Estanguet, President of Paris 2024. 'In each stopover city, the cauldron will be a real meeting point to round off these days of celebration and communion in style. We're inviting everyone to join us there, to share in all the emotions we'll be experiencing with the Torch Relay and to celebrate, together, the arrival of the Games in France.'

The Heart of the Torch

Olympic Torch Relay Cauldron by Mathieu Lehanneur

(Image credit: Felipe Ribon)

At the same time, Lehanneur also unveiled the 'Heart of the Torch', a special gift offered to each torchbearer representing the ring joining the two parts of the Olympic Torch. Made of gold-covered steel, it will be engraved with the words “PORTEUR DE LA FLAMME”, “ECLAIREUR DES JEUX” and “PARIS 2024”. 

'Inseparable from the Torch, the cauldron will travel across France, spreading joy and enthusiasm as the Opening Ceremony approaches. The Heart of the Torch, meanwhile, will salute the contribution of each and every Torchbearer,' says Eric Niedziela, Chairman of ArcelorMittal France. 'These two magnificent objects are testimony to the beauty of what our metal industries can achieve.'


Rosa Bertoli was born in Udine, Italy, and now lives in London. Since 2014, she has been the Design Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees design content for the print and online editions, as well as special editorial projects. Through her role at Wallpaper*, she has written extensively about all areas of design. Rosa has been speaker and moderator for various design talks and conferences including London Craft Week, Maison & Objet, The Italian Cultural Institute (London), Clippings, Zaha Hadid Design, Kartell and Frieze Art Fair. Rosa has been on judging panels for the Chart Architecture Award, the Dutch Design Awards and the DesignGuild Marks. She has written for numerous English and Italian language publications, and worked as a content and communication consultant for fashion and design brands.