You probably heard that Paris had a sad start of 2015, with different shootings, especially the one at Charlie Hebdo, a satirical weekly, which shocked most French people, since some of the killed cartoonists were quite famous and popular.
If you come to Paris in 2015, you may feel that something happened, at least through the reinforced military presence or the longer queues to enter the monuments or museums, due to stricter controls.
Another (nicer) way to feel the emotion and gather what the Parisians felt in these early days of January is to go to the Place de la République, especially around the central statue. This square was indeed the place where people spontaneously gathered the evening of the tragedy, located a stone’s throw (to make a very Charlie play-on-word) from Charlie Hebdo’s attacked offices.
Nearly 2 months after the events, you can still see the relics of this important moment of emotion, since many recent graffiti, inscriptions, messages, or cartoons, now ‘ornate’ the statue. They mix with the original pedestal and its reliefs representing the long historical process along which France tried to reach democracy (and the three upper allegories of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity).
Even if some people might consider this graffiti as vandalism, I personally think it is a touching recollection of the spontaneous reaction of people in such a tragic event, and to me it is definitely more moving than the official memorial that the authorities will probably commission to remember that event.
République Square | Art & culture, Relaxing
Place de la République
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