Aristide Briand (1862-1932) has an important memorial placed in front of the Ministry of Foreign affairs. He was 26 times a minister and maybe especially a more or less full-time minister of foreign affairs between 1915 and 1932, i.e. during and after the WWI times. He was also “President of the Council” some 11 times between 1909 and 1929.
As a young journalist, he was with Jean Jaurès participating in the creation of the socialist newspaper “L’Humanité” (which after WWI became a communist newspaper). Briand was rather a loner, politically, and he was later actually expelled from the Socialist Party.
Briand was the leading personality in the preparation of the separation of Church and State in 1905.
He was an enemy of war and was together with the German Foreign Minister, Gustav Stressemann, and the British Secretary of State, Austen Chamberlain, the major actor in what is referred to as the “Locarno Treaties”. In 1925 this was how one tried to establish guaranteed European borders, to have the Rhineland demilitarized and to get Germany to join the League of Nations. Chamberlain got the Nobel Peace Prize in 1925 and Briand and Stressemann in 1926.
On Briand’s initiative the “Kellog-Briand Pact” was signed in Paris in 1928, where 15 nations signed for the renunciation of war… and the US Secretary of State, Frank B. Kellog, got the Nobel Peace Prize in 1929.
Briand also tried to initiate a European Union....I guess Aristide Briand was worth this monument.
Well, he died in 1932, his German peace partner Stressemann died already in 1929 … and then Hitler came into power.
Here we can see Briand - also together with Stressemann and Chamberlain.
The monument dates from 1937...
... and was a common project, involving the architect Paul Bigot (also known for e.g. this building, see my post here), the sculptors Henri Bouchard (also known for e.g. this statue, see my post here) – the background - and Paul Landowski (also known for Christ the Redeemer - unfortunately I don’t have my own photo to show, but I have mentioned him in some of my posts, e.g. here, here, here and here.) for the group in the foreground.