Lenin, Moa statues in French city

2010-08-18 17:32
Montpellier - Twenty years after Lenin's statues began to disappear from post-Communist Eastern Europe, the great revolutionary rose anew as a 3.3m bronze statue in France on Wednesday.

Flamboyant regional leader Georges Freche ordered five huge statues for the southern city of Montpellier, celebrating his heroes Lenin, Winston Churchill, Charles de Gaulle, Franklin Roosevelt and Jean Jaures.

Each weighs in at between 850kg and a tonne and each cost local taxpayers an estimated $260 000 dollars. They were unveiled on Wednesday and will be formally inaugurated next month.

Freche, a former Socialist who was expelled by the party after making what were regarded as racist comments about the French football team, says the art will honour the "great men of the 20th century".

Next year, five more figures will arrive, bringing Mahatma Gandhi, Golda Meir, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Nelson Mandela and Mao Zedong to Montpellier.

Waste of money

Freche's political opponents have criticised the operation as a waste of money and questioned the decision to honour some of the figures.

The Green Party has threatened to dismantle the statues, and the right-wing UMP is furious to see its hero, Free French wartime leader General De Gaulle, standing alongside the Russian Bolshevik revolutionary Lenin.

But Freche, who is president of the Languedoc-Roussillon region and chairperson of Montpellier's development community, enjoys strong personal support despite, or perhaps because of, a history of controversial remarks.

In a recent interview with the Montpellier local newspaper La Gazette, Freche defended his decision to honour Lenin and Mao, insisting that their political legacy outweighs the bloodshed associated with their regimes.
- SAPA
Read more on:    france
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

HOUSES FOR SALE IN Paarl

Houses R 1 725 000

HOUSES FOR SALE IN Paarl

Houses R 1 725 000

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Deal of the week!

Petrol generators from R1399, save up to R350. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Pampers!

Save 30% when you buy 3 or more selected pampers products. While stocks last. Shop now!

This week only - 30% off books!

Get 30% off when you buy 2 or more books. Many titles to choose from. While stocks last. Shop now!

New range of Samsung smartphones!

Samsung Galaxy A3, A5 and Alpha now available at kalahari.com. while stocks last. Shop now!

Buy 3 eBooks & only pay for 2!

The cheapest of the 3 titles will be free. Many more titles to choose from. While stocks last. Shop now!

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a reactive and wilful undercurrent that flavours things today. There is a tendency to take things too personally and then...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.