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Secrets of the Statue

Henri IV

Wandering across the oldest bridge in Paris, the Pont Neuf, you'll see a statue of Henri IV.  Henri III laid the first stone for the bridge in 1578 and Henri IV inaugurated the completed bridge in 1607.

The imposing equestrian statue of Henri IV was originally produced in 1614 under the orders of Marie de Medicis, Henri's widow.  

It was destroyed in 1792 during the Revolution, then rebuilt in 1818 by the monachy's restoration team.  This statue was made from the original cast using two statues of Napoleon as raw material.  

Recently, restoration experts X-raying the statue to check for cracks noticed something very peculiar!  The statue contained a treasure trove of information.

They discovered that the caster, a fervent Bonapartiste, had enclosed a small statue of his hero intact inside the big one.  He also hid inside the statue, four boxes containing a history of the life of Henri IV, a 17th century parchment certifying the original statue, a description of how the new statue had been commissioned and a list of contributors to the public subscription.

What a wonderful surprise!


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