The sculpture of Francois-Jean de la Barre (Statue du Chevalier de la Barre) is located in the 18th arrondissement of Paris, in a small square of Scar-Nadar near the Church of St. Peter and the Catholic Church of the Sacré-Coeur. The inscription at its foot says that the young man did not take off his hat during the procession of church ministers.
The monument to François-Jean de la Barra is perceived by the inhabitants of France as a symbol of patience and human recklessness. The story of a young nobleman is a kind of warning for many people of that harsh time.
Who is Chevalier de la Barre?
François-Jean de la Barre is a 19-year-old French nobleman, follower of the philosopher and poet Voltaire with a surprisingly cruel fate. He was mercilessly executed in France in 1766. He was charged with chanting offensive songs about the Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene, desecration of the Crucifixion, and also for refusing to take off his hat and greet the church procession without kneeling before him. His associates managed to escape, and the young nobleman was captured. During a search in his house, books of forbidden philosophers were found, including Voltaire, who actively defended the young man at the trial. After a preliminary trial, the Chevalier was sentenced to correctional labor, but later the sentence was changed to execution.
History of sculpture
A bronze statue was originally erected in 1905 by the Jewish sculptor Armand Bloch. François-Jean de la Barre was immortalized on it as an unfortunate martyr.
Then, in 1941, troops invading Paris demolished the sculpture and sent it to be melted down. And only in 2001, Emmanuel Balle again recreated the lost monument. He is a statue of a daring boy in a caftan, his hands in his pockets, and a hat flaunts on his head held high.
Today, the sculpture of a daring nobleman is housed in a modest place in a square among branchy trees.In memory of one of the streets of Paris, one of the streets of Paris bears his name. Every year, on the day of the execution of François-Jean de la Barra, rallies of fighters for freedom of thought and speech, who actively defend their religious views and beliefs, take place in France.
In the same square there is a small dovecote, so the young boy is always surrounded by birds - peaceful angels. Here, in an atmosphere of silence and serenity, you can calmly sit on a bench and reflect on the eternal.
Address: 1 Rue Saint-Eleuthere, Paris 75018