Emmanuel Macron Celebrates Franco-Italian Friendship in Chambord

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Emmanuel Macron celebrates Franco-Italian friendship in Chambord

This Thursday 2nd May, 2019, the President receives his Italian counterpart Sergio Mattarella to celebrate the European culture and a meeting between the young of the two countries.

The exact day of the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci , Emmanuel Macron receives Thursday, May 2, 2019 in Touraine his Italian counterpart Sergio Mattarella, to celebrate the European culture and Franco-Italian friendship , after the tensions of the last months.

On May 2, 1519, the painter and brilliant scientist (born in 1452) died in the castle of Clos-Lucé d’Amboise, three years after being invited to France by King Francis I.

Triple purpose

With his wife Brigitte and the Minister of Culture Franck Riester, the head of state will gather with Sergio Mattarella on the tomb of the painter. The artist rests since the Revolution at the Saint-Hubert chapel of the royal castle of Amboise.

After visiting the Amboise and Clos-Lucé castles where they will have lunch, the two heads of state will travel to Chambord where they will spend an hour and a half with 500 young French and Italian to celebrate the Renaissance.

This visit has a triple purpose, explains the entourage of the president: a testimony of friendship with Italy, the celebration of European culture and a meeting with the youth of both countries, sign that a common heritage forges the future .

Thomas Pesquet guest

Star architect Renzo Piano, writer Alessandro Baricco, astronaut Thomas Pesquet and Italian colleague Samantha Cristoforetti, who have each spent six months on the International Space Station, are also invited.

Alessandro Baricco has planned to create a “story Instagram” during a workshop with young people based on three images of Leonardo’s cult works.

At the beginning of March, Emmanuel Macron had invited Sergio Mattarella, with whom he maintains very cordial relations, for this anniversary in Amboise and in Chambord, bigger castle of the Loire.

The building site of the castle began a few months after the death of the painter but would be inspired by his plans, especially for his staircase double revolution.

“Essential role”

The meeting between the two presidents is in the context of the European elections, where populist identities could weigh more in the European Parliament.

Sergio Mattarella, said the Elysee, has played a “vital role” in recent months for the resumption of dialogue between Paris and Rome after the most serious diplomatic crisis between the two countries since the Second World War.

The populist government in power and that of Emmanuel Macron clashed for months on illegal immigration, support shown in Italy to “yellow vests” but also on Leonardo da Vinci, Rome accusing France of appropriating the inheritance of the painter.

The crisis culminated in early February when Italian Council Vice President Luigi Di Maio met the “yellow vests” Christophe Chalençon. To protest, Paris temporarily recalled his ambassador to Italy.

“When our ambassador, who returned to Rome, met President Mattarella, the words dropped in a tone, we saw fewer provocations” of the Italian government, notes the Elysee.

Several ministerial meetings in recent weeks have helped to ease the crisis.

The castle of Clos Lucé in Amboise, last home of Leonardo da Vinci, July 2, 2009.
The castle of Clos Lucé in Amboise, last home of Leonardo da Vinci, July 2, 2009. (© AFP / ALAIN JOCARD)

Double exposure

The Italian Secretary of State for Culture, Lucia Borgonzoni, a member of the League, also triggered a controversy in November, seemingly questioning an agreement providing for the loan by Italy to France of his paintings by Leonard for a large exhibition in October at the Louvre.

In return, France must loan Raphael’s works for a planned exhibition in 2020 at the Quirinal Museum in Rome.

“Leonardo is Italian, he’s only dead in France,” she said.

A meeting in late February in Milan between the Ministers of Culture Alberto Bonisoli and Franck Riester resolved the dispute.

“The 2 exhibition projects are not in danger. On both sides, he will have a magnifique exhibition and a magnificent exhibition Raphael “, confirmed the Elysée this week.

Mr. Mattarella will be welcomed by the Minister of Culture, Thursday at 9am on the forecourt of Notre-Dame Cathedral, partly burned by a huge fire that has moved around the world, before leaving for Amboise.

Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa at the Louvre Museum in Paris
Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa at the Louvre Museum in Paris on June 17, 2009. (© AFP / Archives / LOIC VENANCE)

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