Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The news from France

Via Google Translation, an article from Le Parisien:

The "great men" of George Frêche are controversial
Claude Massonnet | 08/18/2010, 7:00

The first five statues depicting political characters selected by the historian Georges Frêche, president of the Agglomeration of Montpellier (Hérault), will be erected this morning in a climate of intense controversy. The five monumental statues 3.5 m high are the emblematic figures of Roosevelt, Churchill, de Gaulle, Jaures and Lenin.

They were sculpted by François Cacheux his workshop in Maine-et-Loire, and then cast in bronze in the Paris region.

A former Maoist

"I chose these men because they have played a decisive role in the destiny of the world. And because I have a deep admiration for what they have done, including Lenin during the Russian Revolution. Jean Jaures is the only one who did not run a country. But he brought us so much," analyzes Georges Frêche, Left-wing President of the Languedoc-Roussillon regional council. The former Maoist, who made his career in the Socialist party before being expelled in January 2007 after his statements about blacks in the France national football team, is the instigator of this rather crazy project.

A second shipment expected in late September will complete the collection with Golda Meir, Mao, Gandhi, Mandela and Nasser. "General de Gaulle should not be standing alongside Lenin or Mao. While the national government is reducing spending, local government is installing statues at the expense of taxpayers, "denounced Arnaud Julien, the departmental head of the UMP, which is preparing to respond on the ground. The Green Party of Montpellier has said that they intended to remove these statues as soon as they become able to do so.

The first five "historic" works will be installed this morning in the neighborhood of Odysseum between a gokart track, a bowling alley, and the aquarium. Official justification: to make the younger generation think about the history of political ideas.

Georges Frêche is hesitant to bring Stalin in his team. "It's too early. He is still regarded as the butcher of Europe,"lamented the former mayor of Montpellier, who plans to inaugurate the square when all will be complete.

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