Monday, 10 May 2021

Week 19: The Republic of Montmartre is proclaimed

100 years ago this week: Week 19

A town outside of the Paris walls until 1860, Montmartre proclaimed itself to be an independant from the city once again 60 years later, following the initiative of a group of artists. The Republic is in reality an association based around charitable initiatives for children and annual festivities, but is still going strong today.

Cross the border below.



(Le Petit Parisien, 13/05/1921)

The "Republic of Montmartre" is proclaimed

We have received the following communication: 

Following a recent meeting which brought together artists, writers and Montmartre veterans, the following agenda was unanimously adopted.

"The undersigned, assembled as a "public safety" committee, have decided to found an association that will be known as the 'Republic of Montmartre'. They agree, with the assistance of the Montmartre veterans, to defend Montmarte against the depredations of vandals, the invasion of metics, and to devote themselves to preserving the sacred hill's international artistic reputation.

They call on the fraternal support of all the friends of Montmartre.

Within this new Republic, all political and religious discussions are strictly forbidden.

There follow the signatures of A. Willette, Forain, Maurice Neumont, Poulbot, C. Léandre, Louis Morin, Lucien Métivet, G. de Pawloski, Clément Vautel, Lucien Boyez, Dépaquit, Joe Bridge, Berthoud, Gaston Trieau, Pierre Lissac, Dominique Bonnaud.

____________________________________

Given the ongoing sanitary crisis, the "République de Montmartre" has not yet been able to properly celebrate its centenary, Nevertheless, it is still very active, and run along the same lines as those imagined by the founding community of artists. For these artists, Montmartre needed to be defended against the promoters who were becoming ever more active at the beginning of the 1920s, but also against a sentiment of seriousness and morosity.

You can find out more about the 'Republic' here: https://www.republique-de-montmartre.com/anglais.html

The association can take a lot of credit for helping to maintain the atmosphere of a village in Montmartre. In the 1930s, one of the founding members, Poulbot, was behind the planting of the vines on the hill that now produce a small quantity of wine each year, and real estate promoters have largely been kept away from the district. They can perhaps though also take some blame for the Disneyfied atmosphere of the Place de Tertre and the ubiquitousness of the kitsch Poulbot charicatures in the souvenir shops!

The most lasting impact of the 'Republic' though is the spirt of its motto - "Faire le bien dans la joie" - rejoice in doing good.

3 comments:

urbansquares said...

I am supporting Republic of Montmartre! Excellent post, thanks.

The Boy said...

Thanks, Adam, for another wonderful and fascinating post. It's great to discover more great reasons to love Montmartre!

Hope you're well,

Betsy (aka Peggy Mann's daughter A Room in Paris

The Boy said...

Thanks, Adam, for another wonderful and fascinating post. It's great to discover more great reasons to love Montmartre!

Hope you're well,

Betsy (aka Peggy Mann's daughter A Room in Paris

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