06.04.2011 -

Aimé Césaire honoured at the Panthéon

© UNESCO/ Annick Thebia-Melsan

The poet Aimé Césaire was honored by the French Republic on 6 April 2011 with a national tribute and ceremony at the Pantheon in Paris. Two years after the renowned writer and statesman passed away, a plaque was sealed in the heart of the famous French monument dedicated to the burials of personalities acknowledged as great men by the French Republic.

It is the third plaque which pays tribute to a man of African descent. <a name="OLE_LINK2"></a><a name="OLE_LINK1">Toussaint Louverture (1743-1803) and Louis Delgrès (1766-1802)</a> were similarly honored in 1998. In accordance with his wishes, Aimé Césaire’s ashes will remain in Martinique and won’t be transferred into the monument as is the case traditionally.

On the occasion of the 2004 International Year to Commemorate the Struggle against Slavery and its Abolition, UNESCO awarded the Toussaint Louverture Prize to the author, in acknowledgement to his contribution to the struggle against domination, racism and intolerance.

Worldwide considered as a humanistic and universal poet, his candidature was proposed for the Nobel Prize of peace by two European universities in Belgium and Sweden in 2006.

Commemorating his death, UNESCO also paid a special tribute to the Poet of Negritude on 22 May 2008.

  • Toussaint Louverture (1743-1803) is a freed slave who led the fight for Haiti’s independence.
  • Louis Delgrès (1766-1802) is a revolutionary soldier who took part into the resistance while the re-establishment of slavery by the Napoleonean troups in Guadeloupe.

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