Thursday, December 19, 2013

Paris Honors Madiba

After the extraordinary exposition "From Prisoner to President" at the Hôtel de Ville de Paris that honored him earlier this year, Paris turned out in force to pay homage to Nelson Mandela in the wake of his passing on December 5, 2013.

After his death, the City of Paris projected an image of Mandela on the façade of City Hall on Friday, December 6th and Saturday, December 7th.

On December 10th, the official ceremony that took place in Soweto was broadcast on a giant screen at Place de la République.

From December 14th through December 17th, the Eiffel Tower displayed the inscription "NELSON MANDELA 1918 - 2013" in illuminated letters five meters tall and five spotlights shone in the colors of the South African flag. This was organized in coordination with the South Africa - France Season 2012-2013 by the l’Institut français et le National Arts Council d'Afrique du Sud, the City of Paris, and the Société d'Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel (SETE).

A grass roots initiative launched on Facebook succeeded in mobilizing hundreds of candle-carrying citizens to come to Trocadero to honor Mandela on December 15th, the day of his burial.

All the above images are from the Mairie de Paris Web site. To view more photos, visit the Google+ profile for the Mairie de Paris.

On December 16th, Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoë formally proposed to Paris City Council that that garden being built at Les Halles, in the heart of Paris, be named after Mandela. Part of the garden is to be inaugurated today.

Photo from July 2013 exposition
© Discover Paris!

Rest in peace, Madiba.

The Paris City Council voted unanimously to name Mandela an honorary citizen of Paris in May 2013.


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