The vast Monument aux Morts de Nice will mark its 90th anniversary today with a grand ceremony commemorating the 2,000 Niçois who died during World War I as well as those lost to the UK, USA, Italy and France as a whole.
From 11am on Monday 29th January, the ceremony will be taking place on the Parvis in front of the monumental 32-metre high sculpture, which was started in 1924 by Niçois Roger Séassal, Parisian sculptor Alfred Janniot and entrepreneurial brothers Antoine and André Groppo, and completed in 1928.
Students from schools in the city will be reading aloud extracts from General Maréchal Foch’s speeches; a wreath will be laid; a minute of silence will be held followed by a cannon blast and the national anthems of the UK, USA, Italy and France will be sung (as in 1928); before Mayor Christian Estrosi gives a speech and leads those in attendance in a rendition of Nissa la Bella.
Beyond the large paved square (the Parvis), five wide steps commemorate the five years of war between 1914 and 1918. In the centre of the monument, a large urn is inscribed with the names of some 2,000 young men from Nice who lost their lives during the war. At its base, to the left and right of the Niçois emblem of an eagle, two reliefs symbolise the strife of war and the benefits of peace. The Monument aux Morts was classified as a historical monument in May 2011.