France marked the 200th anniversary of the death of the most famous Frenchman in history (even if he was, in fact, a Corsican of Italian descent) – the emperor and commander Napoleon I Bonaparte. Napoleon died on the small island of St. Helena in the Atlantic Ocean, where he was exiled by the British, after being defeated. In 1840 his coffin was moved to the Anvalide Palace in Paris.
French President Emmanuel Macron decided to hold state ceremonies in his memory at the National Academic Institute he founded and in Anwalid. However he was quick to make it clear that this was a “memorial and not a celebration” and that “France must look into the eyes of its entire history and not erase it in the name of the views of some of the public today.”
Most French presidents, with the exception of Pompidou, have refrained from conducting state ceremonies in memory of Napoleon, which to this day is a politically controversial issue. Activists of black organizations, human rights and Republican elements opposed the events because Napoleon restored, among other things, slavery, which was abolished by the French Revolution.
However, Napoleon was responsible for the transformation of France into a modern state and he took care to establish equal rights for the religious minorities, first and foremost for the Jewish community. Among other things, he also established the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals, the State Bank and the national currency – the franc.
Source: Maariv.co.il – חדשות מהארץ והעולם by www.maariv.co.il.
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