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A plastic horse skeleton on Napoleon's tomb: "a grotesque and disrespectful idea"

2021-05-07T18:03:06.903Z

FIGAROVOX / TRIBUNE - As part of the bicentenary of Napoleon's death, a replica of the bones of his favorite horse will be hung above his tomb at Les Invalides. A completely inappropriate work of contemporary art, judges the historian member of the Napoleon Foundation, Pierre Branda.



Pierre Branda is a historian and heritage director of the Fondation Napoléon.

He recently published

Napoléon à Sainte-Hélène

(Perrin, 2021) and is curator of the exhibition “Napoleon is no longer” at the Musée de l'Armée.

Already contrasted, the bicentenary of Napoleon's death on Saint Helena is in danger of becoming ridiculous. Blame it on an alleged contemporary art that is as grotesque as it is shocking. Marengo! What a pretty name for a military victory though. Popular and iconic for the Napoleonic legend. Also well known, the recipe for veal or chicken Marengo, both tasty. For this bicentenary, we did not necessarily expect to hear the name of Marengo spoken everywhere. But this time for a sickening reason.

To respond to the wish of the Musée de l'Armée to install a contemporary work under the Dôme des Invalides, the artist Pascal Convert has reproduced the skeleton of a horse called Marengo known to have accompanied Napoleon throughout his epic in order to hang it above his tomb, the time of a temporary exhibition ending in February 2022.

Memento Marengo

, here is the name of “the work”. The artist first explains that he was inspired by a tradition dating back to Antiquity of burying warriors with their horses. Then, he adds that by transposing this ancient rite, he also recreated a sort of “

Memento mori

 ”. Like the slave who accompanied the Roman emperor during his triumphs,Marengo would thus come and repeat to his master the ritual phrase: "

Remember you are mortal

 ”.

For someone who is already dead, we don't really see the point but let's move on.

This would "humanize" Napoleon also claims the artist.

Any heritage lover can only wish for the rapid flight of this ugliness "made of composite material".

Pierre Branda

In a sublime film Robert Redford whispered in the ears of his horses.

This time it's a horse whispering in his master's ear.

Hollywood hadn't even thought about it!

It certainly deserves an Oscar, in bad taste of course!

Without laughing either, the curator of the exhibition, Eric de Chassey, regards this horse as a new Pegasus, explaining that the bow of the ship that took Napoleon to England, the

Bellerophon

, precisely represented this mythical horse.

By the way, we no longer really understand if the horse is about to be buried or to fly away.

Pegasus Marengo does not have wings but it is just like.

He whispers but also flies!

Contemporary art is therefore magical.

If only it was true.

Any heritage lover can indeed only wish for the rapid flight of this ugliness "in composite material", not to say in plastic.

But by the way, which horse are we talking about exactly?

Is he really, as Convert claims, the "

fetish horse of Napoleon?

 "? In the notice of the National Army Museum where it is exhibited, we can notably read that on the evening of the Battle of Waterloo, Marengo was taken to London to be shown to the public fairly quickly. He was born in 1794 in Egypt then ridden by Napoleon in 1799 during his campaign in the land of the Pharaohs. Then, the horse would have accompanied him in all his campaigns, galloping proudly in Marengo in 1800, in Austerlitz in 1805, in Russia in 1812 and therefore in Waterloo in 1815. What health! First problem, this longevity is hardly possible even for a robust war mount. Second problem, no archive testifies to its real existence. In terms of historical plausibility, the skeleton is therefore already disintegrating a little.

False work conceived probably from a false horse of Napoleon.

In short, our English friends would say

fake of fake

.

Pierre Branda

But it gets even worse. Everything indicates that the English seized a horse belonging to the imperial stables but without knowing its identity. It was only then that they would have baptized it Marengo to make believe in a better catch. Other sources also indicate that the famous canasson could even be English and never have put a shoe in Waterloo. Her dress is also sometimes described sometimes black sometimes gray. Unless he was a chameleon in addition to his other powers, Pegasus Marengo therefore doubly inhales the false. This is called betting on the wrong horse! False work conceived probably from a false horse of Napoleon.

In short, our English friends would say

fake of fake

.

We laugh less when we think about the cost of the operation. The artist was paid 25,000 euros and the installation of the skeleton takes "

a good half day and involves ten people, a design office and a control office.

 »Says Convert. When one thinks that to precisely restore the tomb of the emperor, the Museum appealed to public generosity. We wonder who are we kidding? From all of us, in fact. The false Marengo will be suspended in a national necropolis which shelters in addition to the tomb of Napoleon those of Vauban, Turenne, Lyautey or Foch. Disrespect therefore also affects these great figures in our history. For Foch, it is a law dated March 27, 1929 which authorizes the army commanders of the First World War to be buried at the Invalides. The place is therefore consecrated. And in consecrated, there is sacred. The sacredness of the sacrifice, of the devotion of a warlord who led to the victory of our republican France. He too is insulted, not just Napoleon. Beyond the figure of the emperor, itis indeed our national history that we call into question by letting Pascal Convert hang on the end of a wire that we hope solid a provocative skeleton. But we are sworn that in no case is there a question of disrespecting the historic site. New lie!

Their targets are carefully chosen.

They spare the minorities to hurt the greatest number.

Pierre Branda

In view of the homage of the President of the Republic on May 5, the skeleton was conveniently unhooked to be hung up the next day. Obviously, we realized that laying a wreath in the Dome with Marengo hanging over the President's head was not a dignified image for him. If it is not for the Head of State, it is not for all those who love France either. We therefore want to hurt, humiliate, hurt. What purpose ? This skeleton says nothing about the history of Napoleon but says everything about our time. The deconstruction of the history of France has therefore begun. What will be next? What will they do tomorrow after this first killing of the Dôme des Invalides? Everything is now possible. This emaciated horse is like the Trojan horse of bad thinkers,proud of their lack of culture and ready to do anything to disgust them. Their targets are carefully chosen. They spare the minorities to hurt the greatest number. Otherwise, the skeleton would have been promptly removed and the Army Museum would even have apologized for its "clumsiness" like a famous brand of mineral water. For our compatriots who love history and heritage, that is to say the majority of our fellow citizens, we display, on the other hand, a sovereign contempt. And that this outrageous attack comes from the heart of the Army, in the person of the director of the Army museum, "guardian of the emperor's tomb", leaves speechless and revolts even more. But beware. Who sows the wind reaps the whirlwind. And you must not come and complain afterwards ...Their targets are carefully chosen. They spare the minorities to hurt the greatest number. Otherwise, the skeleton would have been promptly removed and the Army Museum would even have apologized for its "clumsiness" like a famous brand of mineral water. For our compatriots who love history and heritage, that is to say the majority of our fellow citizens, we display, on the other hand, a sovereign contempt. And that this outrageous attack comes from the heart of the Army, in the person of the director of the Army museum, "guardian of the emperor's tomb", leaves speechless and revolts even more. But beware. Who sows the wind reaps the whirlwind. And you must not come and complain afterwards ...Their targets are carefully chosen. They spare the minorities to hurt the greatest number. Otherwise, the skeleton would have been promptly removed and the Army Museum would even have apologized for its "clumsiness" like a famous brand of mineral water. For our compatriots who love history and heritage, that is to say the majority of our fellow citizens, we display, on the other hand, a sovereign contempt. And that this outrageous attack comes from the heart of the Army, in the person of the director of the Army museum, "guardian of the emperor's tomb", leaves speechless and revolts even more. But beware. Who sows the wind reaps the whirlwind. And you must not come and complain afterwards ...the skeleton would have been promptly removed and the Army Museum would even have apologized for its "clumsiness" like a famous brand of mineral water. For our compatriots who love history and heritage, that is to say the majority of our fellow citizens, we display, on the other hand, a sovereign contempt. And that this outrageous attack comes from the heart of the Army, in the person of the director of the Army museum, "guardian of the emperor's tomb", leaves speechless and revolts even more. But beware. Who sows the wind reaps the whirlwind. And you must not come and complain afterwards ...the skeleton would have been promptly removed and the Army Museum would even have apologized for its "clumsiness" like a famous brand of mineral water. For our compatriots who love history and heritage, that is to say the majority of our fellow citizens, we display, on the other hand, a sovereign contempt. And that this outrageous attack comes from the heart of the Army, in the person of the director of the Army museum, "guardian of the emperor's tomb", leaves speechless and revolts even more. But beware. Who sows the wind reaps the whirlwind. And you must not come and complain afterwards ...that is to say the majority of our fellow citizens, we display on the other hand a sovereign contempt. And that this outrageous attack comes from the heart of the Army, in the person of the director of the Army museum, "guardian of the emperor's tomb", leaves speechless and revolts even more. But beware. Who sows the wind reaps the whirlwind. And you must not come and complain afterwards ...that is to say the majority of our fellow citizens, we display on the other hand a sovereign contempt. And that this outrageous attack comes from the heart of the Army, in the person of the director of the Army museum, "guardian of the emperor's tomb", leaves speechless and revolts even more. But beware. Who sows the wind reaps the whirlwind. And you must not come and complain afterwards ...

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2021-05-07

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