Apparently Charles de Gaulle did not wish statues of himself erected, but in 2000 his family decided to relent, giving permission for this one and several now exist in other countries. This one is on the Champs-Elysées by le Grand Palais near Métro Clemenceau (totally overshadowing the nearby statue of Clemenceau himself, which is disreetly positioned on a rock under a tree on the side of the road near the Métro entrance).
ParisWhich I would translate as:
They are the opening words of his speech to the crowd on the liberation of Paris, 26 August 1944.
Believe it or not, these photos were all taken on the same day, within minutes of one another, by Simon in mid-September.
*Thanks to Jonathan Meades this is how I will aways think of this statue. According to a fellow blogger friend, there are three people from French history that you cannot criticise -- Joan of Arc, Napoleon Bonaparte and le Grand Charles. What's the French for fatwah? I may have to go into hiding...
**Usually translated as 'Paris outraged', but I think 'violated' gives a better sense.