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World Macron negotiates politically charged Napoleon commemoration

06:05  05 may  2021
06:05  05 may  2021 Source:   afp.com

Napoleon on St Helena: the man keeping his spirit alive

  Napoleon on St Helena: the man keeping his spirit alive St Helena, an island in the mid-Atlantic Ocean, is most famous as the place of Napoleon Bonaparte's exile and death. Today, the honorary French consul keeps the former emperor's homes and tomb open to the public.Sitting 1,200 miles west of Windhoek, in Namibia, it's one of the most remote places in the world: a 46 square mile island of dazzling cliff walks, breath-catching drives, and swirling flax plants rippling in the ocean-whipped wind.

© Ludovic MARIN Macron is trying to acknowledge Napoleon 's historical importance without endorsing his mixed legacy. French President Emmanuel Macron is to lay a wreath at the tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte to mark the 200th anniversary of his death on Wednesday after months of debate about "It will be a commemoration , not a celebration," an aide to the French president told reporters on Monday, adding that the day's ceremonies would include a wreath-laying and a speech. Macron has criticised recent attempts to topple statues of French figures involved in slavery, and he has condemned

French President Emmanuel Macron is to lay a wreath at the tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte to mark the 200th anniversary of his death on Wednesday after months of debate about the legacy of the country's most famous autocrat. Macron waited until the last minute to announce his plans for the tricky bicentenary and is seeking to walk a middle path between those who wanted a celebration, and others who called for a boycott. The famed Corsican is one of the most divisive figures in French history, his huge contribution to the creation of the modern state set against his imperialism and war-mongering.

French President Emmanuel Macron is to lay a wreath at the tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte to mark the 200th anniversary of his death on Wednesday after months of debate about the legacy of the country's most famous autocrat.

Emmanuel Macron wearing a suit and tie: Macron is to seek a middle path between those who wanted a celebration of Napoleon, and others who called for a boycott. © Ian LANGSDON Macron is to seek a middle path between those who wanted a celebration of Napoleon, and others who called for a boycott. Marine Le Pen holding a sign: Far-right leader Marine Le Pen has asked: © Thomas SAMSON Far-right leader Marine Le Pen has asked: "Why shouldn't we celebrate Napoleon?"

Macron waited until the last minute to announce his plans for the tricky bicentenary and is seeking to walk a middle path between those who wanted a celebration, and others who called for a boycott.

France's Macron commemorates Napoleon's 'ode to political will'

  France's Macron commemorates Napoleon's 'ode to political will' France's Macron commemorates Napoleon's 'ode to political will'PARIS (Reuters) - President Emmanuel Macron laid a wreath at Napoleon Bonaparte's tomb on Wednesday, commemorating the bicentenary of the death of an emperor who overthrew the nascent Republic before expanding France's empire in bloody battles across Europe.

Macron waited until the last minute to announce his plans for the tricky bicentenary and is seeking to walk a middle path between those who wanted a celebration, and others who called for a boycott. The famed Corsican is one of the most divisive figures in French history, his huge contribution to the creation of the modern state set against In 2005, late president Jacques Chirac refused to attend the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Austerlitz, which saw Napoleon defeat larger Russian and Austrian forces. The post Macron walks tightrope with Napoleon commemoration appeared first on France 24.

Macron is trying to acknowledge Napoleon 's historical importance without endorsing his mixed legacy / © POOL/AFP. French President Emmanuel Macron is to lay a wreath at the tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte to mark the 200th anniversary of his death on Wednesday after months of debate about the But in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement and the emergence of a new generation of vocal anti-racism campaigners in France, Napoleon 's decision to re-establish slavery in 1802 has been the focus of debate. "It will be a commemoration , not a celebration," an aide to the French president

The famed Corsican is one of the most divisive figures in French history, his huge contribution to the creation of the modern state set against his imperialism and war-mongering.

But in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement and the emergence of a new generation of vocal anti-racism campaigners in France, Napoleon's decision to re-establish slavery in 1802 has become the focus of debate.

a large building with Les Invalides in the background: Macron will lay a wreath at the Hotel des Invalides where the body of Napoleon was laid to rest in 1861. © THOMAS COEX Macron will lay a wreath at the Hotel des Invalides where the body of Napoleon was laid to rest in 1861.

"It will be a commemoration, not a celebration," an aide to the French president told reporters on Monday, adding that the day's ceremonies would include a wreath-laying and a speech.

Macron has criticised recent attempts to topple statues of French figures involved in slavery, and he has condemned so-called "cancel culture" as an attempt to "erase what we are".

In France's overseas territories, Napoleon's legacy has a more troublesome side

  In France's overseas territories, Napoleon's legacy has a more troublesome side In France's overseas territories, Napoleon's legacy has a more troublesome sideREUNION ISLAND, France (Reuters) - When France commemorates the bicentenary of Napoleon Bonaparte's death on May 5, Aurelie Ramassamy will remember a tyrant who reversed the abolition of slavery rather than an emperor often lionized as a hero for his battlefield triumphs.

Commemorations that are part of the memorial project of the Head of State and his promise made for Napoleon , as before for Algeria or Rwanda. "Emmanuel Macron does not shy away," pleads one of his relatives. The Head of State will visit the Institut de France in the afternoon to participate in a ceremony with An important adviser tries to demine in advance, explaining that "to commemorate is not to celebrate", and promising a speech "neither hagiographic, neither in denial, nor in repentance". >> READ ALSO. - In Corsica, the commemorations of the bicentenary of the death of Napoleon divide.

Wednesday, Emmanuel Macron will mark the 200th birthday of Napoleon death with a speech in which he will "look in the face" the legacy left by the emperor, at the same time admired and controversial in the story of France. Commemorations that fall into the memorial project of the Head of State and his promise made for Napoleon , as before for Algeria or Rwanda . But as to cultivate a "at the same time" memorial, the Elysee suggests that it is not excluded that Emmanuel Macron also commemorates the 150 years of the commune of Paris, after Napoleon .

a man wearing a hat: Napoleon is one of the most divisive figures in French history, his huge contribution to the creation of the modern state set against his imperialism and war-mongering © Philippe LOPEZ Napoleon is one of the most divisive figures in French history, his huge contribution to the creation of the modern state set against his imperialism and war-mongering

"Our approach is to look at history in the face," the presidential aide said, adding that the approach meant "neither denial, nor repentance".

Macron believed it was wrong to judge figures of the past by today's ethical standards, the aide added.

"Someone at the start of the 21st century does not think like someone at the start of the 19th century," he said. "Our history is our history and we accept it."

But in a speech at the Institut de France, one of many Napoleonic institutions, the French president will condemn slavery as "an abomination, including in the context of the era," the aide said.

The 43-year-old president, elected as France's youngest leader since Napoleon, will also dwell on his lasting impact on the state bureaucracy, as well as the school and legal systems.

Before death in exile, Napoleon fought to save his legacy

  Before death in exile, Napoleon fought to save his legacy Before death in exile, Napoleon fought to save his legacyPARIS (Reuters) - As the bicentenary of Napoleon Bonaparte's death draws closer, an exhibition at Les Invalides in Paris sheds light on his death in exile and his efforts to save his legacy as military genius and visionary leader.

Napoleon continues to divide opinion. The “Corsican ogre”, as his nemesis, the Duke of Wellington, knew him, was idolised by anti-establishment romantics such as Byron and Shelley. Politically speaking, Macron , like Bonaparte, came from nowhere. Napoleon on his deathbed, surrounded by friends, aquatint by Jean Pierre Marie Jazet based on a painting by Karl von Steuben. Photograph: INTERFOTO/Alamy. Yet while Macron is no tyrant, despite what critics say, there is something veritably Napoleonic about how he views his country’s place in the world.

Napoleon was a brilliant military general, who saved the French Revolution and laid the foundations of the modern French state. He also gave Montauban its own county in 1808, despite being less than an hour's drive from Toulouse. But is that enough to offset his dictatorship and aggression, and his decision to reinstate slavery after it had been abolished in France? Today we're in a dictatorship of the politically correct, and I'm among those who want to fight it." So how do you commemorate Napoleon in the 21st Century?

- Tyrant, genius or both? -

Napoleon seized power in a coup in 1799, overthrowing France's first republic that was established in the wake of the 1789 revolution that abolished the monarchy.

Renowned for his military prowess, he clocked up a series of victories, including at the Battle of Austerlitz, which resulted in a French empire dominating most of continental Europe.

But as well as crowning himself emperor and crushing the fledgeling attempts at democracy at home, Napoleon also reversed gains for women and the ban on slavery introduced under the first republic.

Slavery was re-established in French colonies, a move seen by some as being motivated by a desire to dominate the Caribbean sugar trade in the face of competition from arch-enemy England.

Mathilde Larrere, a French historian, believes there was a "racist dimension" to the decision, however.

Writing in The New York Times recently, American scholar Marlene Daut called Napoleon "France’s biggest tyrant" and "an icon of white supremacy" in a column that condemned planned commemorations in France.

Bicentennial of the death of Napoleon: What political sense to Macron's commemorations?

 Bicentennial of the death of Napoleon: What political sense to Macron's commemorations? The head of state will go Wednesday to the Institut de France to participate in the commemorations of the bicentennial of the death of Napoleon Bonaparte. A ceremony that, in the image of the Emperor, divides the political class for two centuries, and asks the question of the political meaning of this event wanted by Emmanuel Macron.

- Political divisions -

In the build-up to the bicentenary of Napoleon's death on the island of Saint Helena, some 160 French institutions from schools to museums have signed up for events grouped under the "Annee Napoleon 2021" label.

Though many of those events have been hit by the coronavirus pandemic, French TV schedules have been saturated with new documentaries and libraries are stocked with new books looking at every aspect of his life.

"Why shouldn't we celebrate Napoleon?" far-right nationalist leader Marine Le Pen told France Inter radio on Tuesday. "He's a huge historical figure. I regret that the president is commemorating him in a hurry.

"He did so much for the country, and he gave so much to the world."

Left-wingers have urged Macron to avoid the occasion.

"The Republic should not pay an official homage to the person who buried the first republican experience of our history by installing an authoritarian regime," left-winger Alexis Corbiere wrote in Le Figaro newspaper in March.

Other French leaders have also had to contend with how to remember the man known as the "little corporal", famed for his frock coat and "bicorne" (two-cornered) hat which he wore sideways on the battlefield.

In 2005, late president Jacques Chirac refused to attend the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Austerlitz, which saw Napoleon defeat larger Russian and Austrian forces.

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Paris. Above the tomb of Napoleon, a reproduction of the skeleton of his horse creates the controversy .
© Franck Dubray / West-France The favorite horse of Napoleon was called Marengo. Photo Stock Illustration. To commemorate the bicentennial of the death of Napoleon, a reproduction of the skeleton of his favorite horse was installed above his tomb located at the invalids, in Paris. However, this artistic project arouses many reactions. Jean-Louis Thiériot, Member of Parliament for Seine-et-Marne, arrested the Minister of Armies Florence Parly, Monday, April 26th.

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