Prince Albert II of Monaco paid a national tribute to Joséphine Baker on Monday in the Principality, on the eve of his entry into the Pantheon, in the presence of one of the artist’s adopted sons.
National tribute to Joséphine Baker, this Monday, November 29, 2021, in Monaco, in the presence of one of her sons, Jeannot Bouillon Baker. On the eve of his Pantheonization, a ceremony was organized in the Principality where the Franco-American artist is buried and where his remains will remain, according to the wishes of his family. Only a cenotaph (an empty tomb) with a plaque bearing its name will be placed in the Pantheon in Paris.
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“There are beings who never go out.” In his speech, Prince Albert II took up these words from his mother, Princess Grace, which was held to the aid of the singer – born like her in the USA -, after that, ruined, she had to leave, with her many adopted children, the Château des Milandes in the Dordogne where they lived. The sovereign also evoked “the courage of the granddaughter of slaves” as during the Second World War and underlined “the ideal of universal brotherhood and its corollary, the fight against racial segregation, of which Josephine is a symbol” .
A little dirt from the Monaco cemetery to the Pantheon
During the ceremony, Prince Albert II, who will attend that of the Pantheon this Tuesday, took a little soil with a trowel in the parterre located just next to the tomb of Josephine Baker. He placed it in a wooden box, bearing the inscription “Madame Joséphine Baker” and the current date. Which will be placed in its cenotaph. This land of Monaco – the place of her personal and professional rebirth – will be placed in her cenotaph with those of her three other homelands, Saint-Louis in Missouri where she was born, Paris where she was successful and Les Milandes. where she had installed her “rainbow tribe” as she herself defined her adopted sons and daughters all over the world.
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