It’s been a while I wanted to write about Paris’ République’s monument. I suppose today is a good day to do so.
Situated at the centre of huge République Square, the monument was erected in 1883 to celebrate the newly established Third Republic, a major propaganda piece of work full of romantic allegories and symbols of the French République:
- the allegories statues of the Liberté, Egalité, and Fraternité are sitting on the base
- on the top, a massive 9.5 m high statue of Marianne, the symbol of the regime
- at the bottom, relief-panels display historic scenes of the French Revolution, such as for example the Storming of the Bastille
- and a great lion next to a ballot box symbolises the strength of the universal suffrage (although it is not until 1944 that French women were granted the right to vote as well)
Very popular and busy artery of the Paris city centre, the République Square is often the theatre of demonstrations of all kinds.
At the beginning of 2015, after France and the rest of the world were shocked by the savage murders of the infamous cartoonists, 1.5 million people gathered here for a pacific republican march attended by 40 world leaders. At the occasion, the République’s monument was covered with graffiti expressing sorrow and solidarity.