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Jacques Chirac

France lines up to say goodbye to Jacques Chirac at Paris’ Invalides

People wait to sign a condolence registers for late former French President Jacques Chirac at the Elysee presidential palace in Paris.
People wait to sign a condolence registers for late former French President Jacques Chirac at the Elysee presidential palace in Paris. AFP/Lucas Barioulet

A popular tribute for former President Jacques Chirac will be held this Sunday in Les Invalides in Paris, from 2 PM (French time), ahead of a national day of mourning announced for Monday.

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Jacques Chirac’s coffin will be placed at the entrance of the Cathedral Saint-Louis-des-Invalides.

This tribute is linked to "the strong relationship that Jacques Chirac had with the French. Anyone who loved him will be able to come and mourn him near his coffin," said his son-in-law, Frédéric Salat-Baroux.

Thousands pay tribute to Jacques Chirac

Since last Thursday and until Sunday evening, the French presidency threw open the doors of the Elysee Palace for people wanting to sign books of condolences.

Mourners gathered at the Elysee Palace in Paris on Friday to pay their respects to former president Jacques Chirac, who died on Thursday aged 86.

"I express my admiration and tenderness for the last of the great presidents," read one tribute. "Thank you for fighting, thank you for this freedom and good spirits."

People sign condolence registers for late former French President Jacques Chirac at the Elysee presidential palace in Paris.
People sign condolence registers for late former French President Jacques Chirac at the Elysee presidential palace in Paris. AFP/Geoffroy Van Der Hasselt

In a televised address Thursday night, President Emmanuel Macron praised "a man whom we loved as much as he loved us".

Chirac is also to be given the honour of a public memorial ceremony on Sunday as well as a mass on Monday, which will be attended by Macron and foreign dignitaries including German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker.

People queue in front of the Elysee Palace to sign books of condolences, Paris on 26 September, 2019.
People queue in front of the Elysee Palace to sign books of condolences, Paris on 26 September, 2019. AFP/Dominique Faget

A minute of silence will also be observed Monday at public institutions, schools and football matches.

Schools have also been urged to dedicate class time on Monday "to evoke the former head of state's memory," with the education ministry saying it will propose potential discussion themes for teachers.

And the Quai Branly museum of indigenous art founded by Chirac, who had a deep appreciation of Asian cultures, said it would offer free admission until 11 October.

French newspapers splashed his portrait across their front pages and dedicated most of their editions to the former president's life -- French daily newspaperLe Parisien had an exhaustive 35 pages plus a 12-page special insert.

Jacques Chirac will be buried at the Montparnasse cemetery in Paris next to his daughter Laurence, who died in 2016 after a lifelong battle with anorexia.

(with AFP)

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