Saturday, November 11, 2006

Marquis de Lafayette

This French soldier was a passionate joiner in the American Revolution against Britain. He became lifelong friends with George Washington, even naming a son George Washington Lafayette.

This statue near Quai de Albert I and the Champs-Élysées was erected by the “schoolchildren of the U.S.”

"A small subscription magazine booklet: The Mentor, Lafayette by Albert Bushnell Hart published in January 1918. It has a photograph of Paul Wayland Bartlett's statue. The statue is of the identical design to that which was placed at Metz by the Knights of Columbus in 1920. The caption with this photograph reads:

'The Childrens Statue of Lafayette. This statue, designed by the sculptor, Paul Wayland Barlett, was a gift to France in 1908, from five million American school children. It stands in a court of the Louvre, Paris.'

However, the statue was removed a few years back to make space for a modern pyramid of steel and glass cover to a staircase leading to a lower level entrance to the museum. The new location of this statue is along the Cours Albert 1er [right bank of the Seine], between the Pont de l'Alma and the Pont des Invalids, not far from the statue of Bolivar. It served as the focus of one of the 2004 Alliance Day Commemorations in Paris.”


Ginnie said...

What a sweet story about our American school children! Little did I know. These histories you are sharing with us are so fascinating.

And who is that Albert Bushnell HART??!!

Rauf said...

The French have been naming some street or the other after the current US President. Don't know if the practice has been discontinued. They used to change the name of the street immediately after the US president was out of office. I am not sure of this Ruth, I read this in some book, where the ex President of US goes to see the street named after him in Paris only to find that the name has been changed.

Ruth said...

Ginnie, I was very surprised to see the inscription on this statue in May! And yes, HART! :)

Rauf, I didn't know there was a regular practice of this, but it makes sense because there are so many streets named for presidents. Don't you wonder if our current leader will be one??

In 1997 my sister Nancy and I saw the limo with Pres. Clinton on his way to the embassy. I don't know if he has a street named for him.

dutchbaby said...

The first time my husband and I went to France, we always chuckled whenever we saw a street named Victor Hugo. It seems every town, no matter how small, has to have a Rue Victor Hugo. We would smile triumphantly as we spied the street names from the train, rolling by from station to station.

This has nothing to do with Lafayette of course, but it looks like this comment thread is taking a life of its own.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if there is a tablet on Lafayette's statue stating the Daughters of the American Revolution? I only have found the one side stating it was a gift of America's children - wondering what is written on the opposite sides of the statue?
Thank you.