Would it not be ever so lovely to be able to see one's ancestor honoured in Paris with a grand monument, a work of art? In these sad times, when the sheer crush of the planet's excessive human population (the antecedents of whom we so enjoy researching) is smothering all so that there is not enough space, not enough air, not enough water, not enough food for our children, and when celebrity is the goal of any poor soul who can crawl to the top of the heaving mass, how pleasant it is to think of earlier times when accolades were accorded for accomplishment and to find one's own ancestor among the recipients. To be sure, the adage that "history is written by the winners" applies to the erection of statues as well, and many statues in public spaces were erected by vile rulers or generals wishing to honour themselves or their own ignominious ancestors. This is currently going through a period of correction and balance as angry crowds haul down statues and dump them in rivers or smash them to bits.
Personally, we do not much mind this emotive vandalism, though our brother in Oregon is outraged and says it is the equivalent of book burning. To this we say: Nonsense. A book contains information that can be read by one or many; a statue is decoration. We rather hope that the demolished statues might be replaced by new statues, perhaps of dolphins or dinosaurs or, dare we say, of one, just one, of the many women who have made important contributions to the betterment of this sorry species that is humanity.
So, Dear Readers, of the many hundreds of statues that remain in Paris, if one may be of your ancestor, here is an excellent website to facilitate the search for it, Les Statues de rue de Paris. It would seem to have been created by George Belleiche (though he prefers to remain anonymous) since all of the contents seem to come from his two books on the subject. The statues are listed geographically, by arrondissement, and can be searched by either the name of the sculptor or of the subject. We wish you a successful search.
©2020 Anne Morddel