PAPEETE, Tahiti (Tahitipresse, Dec. 17) - The French Polynesia government presidency has called for public bids for the construction of a 3.2-meter (10.5-foot) tall bronze statue of Gen. Charles de Gaulle, according to a public notice published on Dec. 13.

The statue is to be built from a 1.5-meter (4.9-foot) plaster model prepared by famous sculptor Jean Cardot.

Once built, the statue will be placed in the gardens of the French Polynesia presidential headquarters in downtown Papeete.

The bidding will involve the making of the bronze statue using a "cire perdue," or lost wax, method; the transportation of the statue to the presidential gardens; the statue’s installation; a study and the making of a pedestal foundation in reinforced concrete for permanently attaching the statue, according to a public notice soliciting bids. All work must be completed within 12 months and all interested bidders have until Feb. 4 to submit a proposal.

The sculptor Cardot, a member of the French National Academy of Fine Arts, created the first statue of Gen. de Gaulle following a contest organized by the Free French Foundation on the 30th anniversary of De Gaulle’s death. The 3.7-meter (12-foot) statue with a 3.85-meter (12.6-foot) pedestal was inaugurated on Nov. 9, 2000 at Place Clémenceau in Paris at a symbolic angle formed by the Champs-Elysées, Avenue Winston-Churchill and Avenue Gen. (Dwight) Eisenhower.

The Paris statue presents a marching De Gaulle in uniform, looking to one side. This pose was inspired by photos taken when Gen. De Gaulle marched along the Champs-Elysées during the post-World War II liberation of Paris on Aug. 26. 1944.

In 1996, Cardot also designed a memorial monument paying tribute to the famous World War II British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill. This 3.17-meter (10.4-foot) statue was made using the "cire perdue" method, is located in front of the Petit Palais in Paris.

December 19, 2003



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