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Day 98: Panthéon and Aimé Césaire

For a couple of weeks, from what I gleaned, the Panthéon was closed to the public in preparation to pay an hommage to Aimé Césaire on the eves of the 3rd anniversary of his death. A poet, writer and politician in his lifetime, he was deemed an inspiration and defended not only the Martinican identity but also of black Africans under colonial rules. He was the champion of civil rights movement in French-speaking overseas territories and islands.

Unlike many who were interred at the Panthéon, Césaire’s remains was not exhumed and brought to Paris, in accordance to his will. Instead, the commemoration came in the form of a dedicated plaque, unveiled in a ceremony on 6 April by President Sarkozy.

The Panthéon has since reopened and until Sunday (10 April) entry is free of charge, although when I dropped by today with Brian and Ivan, many sections of the crypt are still out of bound and the famous Foucault’s Pendulum in the great hall has been temporarily removed.

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