Icon of French cinema, Jean-Paul Belmondo died on Monday at the age of 88. France will pay tribute to him this Thursday, September 9 at a ceremony to be held at the Invalides. It will begin at 4.30 p.m. in the main courtyard of the Hôtel des Invalides, a huge space 102 meters long and 64 wide. Covered with the tricolor flag, the actor’s coffin will be placed in the center, in front of the several hundred people invited to the ceremony: his family, relatives, Emmanuel and Brigitte Macron, members of the government and the political class as well as personalities of cinema, culture and sport.
Behind them, under the arcades, will be massed some 1,000 people from the public who will have been able to enter without prior invitation, but with a health pass. Two giant screens will broadcast the ceremony on the Esplanade des Invalides. After reviewing the troops, Emmanuel Macron will deliver the eulogy of the one he presented on Monday as “a national treasure” who, “among our great actors, was the one who won hands down the palm of the public”.
The public will be able to meditate in front of their coffin
The speech will be followed by a minute of silence and the ceremony will be concluded by the Marseillaise. Due to the immense popularity of the actor, the Elysee and the family decided to open the doors of the Invalides around 7:30 p.m., after the end of the ceremony, to all those who would like to pray in front of the coffin, which will remain in the court. The funeral will be celebrated Friday at 11:00 am in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés church in Paris.
Since Monday, several personalities from the world of cinema had declared that they wanted the national tribute to Jean-Paul Belmondo to be open to the public. “It is the dimension of the character and I especially hope that it will be partly open to the public. Because Jean-Paul Belmondo had sacred respect for the public“, had estimated the producer Alain Terzian on LCI.
National homage to Belmondo: “it is in the dimension of the character”, estimates the producer Alain Terzian
“I believe that the homage paid to Johnny Hallyday (at the Madeleine – Editor’s note) was very handsome, very strong, and Jean-Paul Belmondo does not deserve less, differently, something else, but the President of the Republic will know how to find “, declared for his part on franceinfo Thierry Frémaux, the general delegate of the Festival de Cannes.
In October 2018, the Cour des Invalides had already hosted the national tribute to singer Charles Aznavour. Chaired by Emmanuel Macron, it was held in the presence of 200 guests and the public had been invited according to a very supervised device. In December 2017, it was the writer Jean d’Ormesson who received the honors of the Republic there.
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