Place Vendôme

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I give it ten years . . .

But I suppose that to Napoleon, having given the coup de grâce to the Holy Roman Empire at Austerlitz, it probably did seem that his new empire would last for centuries.

Apparently the column was made from 1,200 melted-down Austro-Russian canons. The original was pulled down in the Paris Commune, with Gustave Courbet one of the instigators of its destruction. I imagine that, at the time, it was like the more recent topplings of statues of Lenin and Saddam – which leads me to wonder if there will come a day when those acts of destruction will be seen as vandalism.

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