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Monte-Carlo – Les Terrasses de Berlioz
This monument was erected in March 1903 to mark the centenary of Berlioz’s birth. The news was announced in a brief piece on the front page of the Petit Journal of 14 March 1903, a copy of which is in our collection:
Berlioz, dont on vient d’inaugurer le buste à Monte-Carlo, n’avait pas attendu jusqu’à ce jour l’hommage de la posterité. Paris possède, en effet, sa statue, dans le petit square Vintimille.
A l’endroit où se dresse aujourd’hui ce Berlioz rêveur, un Napoléon Ier — de Mathieu Meusnier — s’éleva pendant quelque temps. Mais il disparut bientôt : on trouvait l’empereur trop court vêtu. Et, de fait, Napoléon était nu comme un ver ! Mathieu Meusnier s’excusa en disant que Pigalle avait fait un Voltaire aussi … académique.
Berlioz, whose bust has just been inaugurated in Monte-Carlo, did not have to wait until this day to receive the homage of posterity. Paris in fact possesses his statue, in the small Vintimille Square.
At the location where today stands this pensive Berlioz, there stood for a while a statue of Napoleon I by Mathieu Meusnier. But it disappeared soon after: the emperor’s clothes were thought to be too short. And, in fact, Napoleon was naked as a worm! Mathieu Meusnier excused himself by saying that Pigalle had made … a similarly academic-looking Voltaire.
On the statue in Vintimille Square, see on this site the page Berlioz Square in Paris, and for further illustrations of the monument in Monte-Carlo see the page on Berlioz and Monaco.
The stamp on this postcard was issued to commemorate the centenary of Berlioz’s death on 8 March 1869.
Baden-Baden – Square Berlioz
The square was renamed after Berlioz and inaugurated on 11 December 2003, to mark the bicentenary of the composer’s birth. It is located to the right of the Festspielhaus, which was officially opened in 1998. The Berlioz sculpture was placed in the square in 2005.
Bernhard Horn (1909-1992), who lived in Baden-Baden from 1985, made a bust of Berlioz in gypsum in 1990 to mark the refurbishment of the theatre, where Berlioz’s last opera Béatrice et Bénédict was premiered. The material used in the sculpture was judged too fragile for outdoor display and it was therefore decided to recast it in bronze. Eventually in 2005, the artist’s daughter Lydia found a sponsor, Ramin Haschemi, an Iranian stock-broker and music-lover living in Baden-Baden; he donated 2000 euros to cover the costs. On Berlioz’s long and fruitful relations with Baden-Baden, see the page devoted to Baden-Baden on this site.
We are most grateful to our friend Pierre-René Serna for sending us the above photo, taken by himself in January 2007, and for the related background information.
© (unless otherwise stated) Monir Tayeb and Michel Austin for all the texts and images on Berlioz Statues pages.
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