Postcards are forever - the Vintage Collection #8 - Paris, or the how to disappear completely
"You sometimes think you want to disappear, but all you really want is to be found" - Kid Cudi
This new episode of the *"Postcards are forever - the Vintage Collection" series takes us to one of the most beautiful cities in the world, a jewel of Old Europe: Paris, France (also one of my absolutely favorite cities!).
There is a lot of magic in Paris and I don't just mean the special atmosphere or the romantic walks on the river Seine.
Things are disappearing for many years and then, all of a sudden, they reappear out of the blue. And if you are thinking about "small" or light things...well, their disappearance would not be difficult at all. No, I am talking about something extremely different!
This is the story of a well-known monument, by the sculptor Jean-Paul Aubé and the architect Louis-Charles Boileau, dedicated to Léon Gambetta, French statesman, prominent during and after the Franco-Prussian War.
A postcard depicting Léon Gambetta monument in 1910 (approximately)
It was 1888 and the placement of the statue was approximately in the same position near Louvre Museum where now Ieoh Ming Pei's controversial pyramid is and surely it was considered controversial in the same way, at the time, being 27 meters high and a little too magnificent.
A portrait of Léon Gambetta (source: Wikipedia)
The monument resisted in place until 1941. During that year, the Vichy government stripped all metal from various monuments (not dedicated to saints and royalty) to produce weapons. The missing bronze figure at the top of the plinth forced the statue to be removed in 1954 and then it disappeared completely for many years. It was only 28 years after that it was brought back in a different place: Edouard Vaillant Square.
What remains of the monument, in modern times, in Edouard Vaillant Square (source: Wikipedia)
For those interested enough, there is still a scale model of the original monument in the Musée d'Orsay (a fabulous museum you HAVE to visit)...its dimensions are not the original ones but still, it is a 2.5 meters high scale model!
black and white postcard from my collection
dimensions: 9 cm x 13.5 cm
previous posts in this series:
- Postcards are forever - the Vintage Collection #1
- Postcards are forever - the Vintage Collection #2
- Postcards are forever - the Vintage Collection #3
- Postcards are forever - the Vintage Collection #4
- Postcards are forever - the Vintage Collection #5 - Boulogne-sur-Mer - France
- Postcards are forever - the Vintage Collection #6 - Turin - Italy
- Postcards are forever - the Vintage Collection #7 - Electrical Railcar no.5
In 1861, John P. Charlton, an American printer, produced the first postcard, later copyrighted with Hymen Lipman (who is also credited with the copyright of the first pencil with an eraser, in 1858).
After more than 150 years, all kinds of postcards were produced all around the world.
Nowadays they seem a thing from the past and probably they are a vintage view on what the world once was. Those willing to actually pay attention can find a full universe in a single postcard.