Monument to Charles de Gaulle (Monument au general de Gaulle) on the Place J. Clemenceau has become one of the symbols of France revived after the Second World War.
History of creation
In 1998, at the congress of the Free France Association in Colombie de la Eglise, it was decided to erect a monument to General Charles de Gaulle, which became a symbol of the national liberation movement during World War II and the country's economic recovery in the post-war period.
Admiral Philippe de Gaulle gave his consent to perpetuating the memory of his father, although until that time members of Charles de Gaulle's family, referring to his wish, categorically objected to the monument to the president. Their position changed only after the first monument in honor of the leader of the liberation was opened outside France in London.
According to the conditions of the jury, its participants had to try to convey his character, will and decisiveness of actions on the way to the set goal. 20 sculptors and art studios took part in the creative competition. The sculptors were given only 4 months to work on the competitive models.
According to its results, on September 7, 1999, Jean Cardo was named the winner, having surpassed the proposal of William Shattaway in the final. The overwhelming majority of the jury voted for the work of J. Cardo - only 1 person out of 9 supported W. Shuttaway's project.
The place for the erection of the monument on the Place J. Clemenceau was not chosen by chance. Every year on November 11, a solemn ceremony was held here to mark the achievement of an armistice in the First World War, in which the head of state certainly participated. All necessary funds for the construction of the monument were collected as voluntary donations by subscription.
The monument to the hero of the Second World War and the first president of the Fifth Republic Charles de Gaulle was opened on the day of the 30th anniversary of his death on November 9, 2000. The ceremony was held in the presence of Jacques Chirac, President of the French Republic, Jean Simon, Chancellor of the Order of the Liberation, and Jean Tiberi, Mayor of Paris.
On a two-meter pedestal, there is a sculpture of the general, 4 meters high. The bronze statue was cast in the workshop of the famous French foundry Cubertine. The sculptor Jean Cardo depicted Charles de Gaulle at a solemn moment in history - during the 1944 parade.
The purposefulness and confidence of the outstanding politician is conveyed in a minted step. Typing a step, he walks past the invisible formation of the heroes of the French Resistance. His gaze is focused and attentive, and his gestures are precise and energetic. The author of the statue managed to convey the natural facial expressions, dynamics of movement and the atmosphere of a historical moment.
Twice a year, at the base of the monument to Charles de Gaulle, the Free France Foundation holds wreath-laying ceremonies to the country's first post-war president. These days are associated with the founding date of the "Fighting France" movement on June 18, 1940 and the day of death of Charles de Gaulle on November 9, 1970. Commemorative events are always celebrated with military honors with a large gathering of Parisians and tourists.
Address: Place Clemenceau, Paris 75008
Metro: Champs-Élysées - Clemenceau
Bus: Champs-Élysées - Clemenceau