De Gaulle statue fund short of £200,000

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The Independent Online

General Charles de Gaulle is as short of funds in death as he often was in life. A two-year public appeal for contributions to pay for an 11ft-high statue of the war-time leader of Free France, near the Champs-Elysées in Paris, is missing half the money it needs, around £200,000, only six weeks before its inauguration.

General Charles de Gaulle is as short of funds in death as he often was in life. A two-year public appeal for contributions to pay for an 11ft-high statue of the war-time leader of Free France, near the Champs-Elysées in Paris, is missing half the money it needs, around £200,000, only six weeks before its inauguration.

Georges Caetucoli, 80, secretary-general of the Fondation de la France Libre, which is promoting the memorial, said: "I'm sure that many people would give us money, if they knew where to find us. The problem is that the French media has hardly talked about the project until now. This is a public appeal which has taken place almost in secrecy. On the rare occasions that newspapers or television have mentioned the appeal, they have failed to give our address."

The copper statue of the general, showing him walking down the Champs-Elysées after the liberation of Paris on 26 August 1944, has almost been completed and will be inaugurated on 9 November, the 30th anniversary of his death. It was designed by Jean Cardot, the sculptor who made a popular bear-like statue of Sir Winston Churchill, which was erected in Paris two years ago. The De Gaulle statue will stand 50 yards from the Churchill statue.

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