The artistic desecration of Napoleon’s tomb

A plastic skeleton replica of Napoleon’s favorite horse flying over his sarcophagus under the gilded dome of the chapel of the Palais des Invalides in Paris. Although this artistic installation will not see the light until next May 7, two days after France commemorates the bicentennial of the death of the emperor, the controversial work is already provoking heated debates and setting the networks on fire with the leaks of some images. For its detractors, it is not only a misuse of art that shows a “desecration”, but also a “sacrilege”, as it is also a material as not very noble as plastic.

The work, engineered by the prestigious artist Pascal Convert, only adds to the list of controversies that feed this bicentennial about the fit that Napoleon has in the country’s historical memory. “My work causes scandal because it enters the sacred circle of Napoleon’s sarcophagus,” says Convert himself on a rostrum in the weekly “L’Obs”, where he justifies his artistic commitment to this bicentennial.

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